Fisheries Electronic Monitoring Assistant Needed
Integrated Statistics is looking for an assistant to work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) is required to collect scientific, management, regulatory compliance, and economic data needed for managing fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the high seas beyond the EEZ. To collect that data, certified observers are placed aboard U.S. domestic fishing vessels. Although vessels often self-report, only limited data collection demands can reasonably be placed on the captain and crew. The NEFSC’s Fisheries Sampling Branch manages the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (NEFOP), which monitors the NEFOP observer provider company, provides training and certification, performs data quality assessments, processes pre-trip notification, and manages vessel selection across notification fisheries. The Electronic Monitoring program is exploring the use of a variety of technologies to collect fishery data.
The assistant will help the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (NEFOP) and Electronic Monitoring Lead, working on a variety of tasks related to the NEFOP program (seadays, outreach, provider support, data pulls, etc.) and related to Electronic Monitoring (video review, provider support, outreach, vessel visits, etc.).
The assistant responsibilities for the Electronic Monitoring program include:
• Reviewing video footage to identify marine species and document species type, species count, discard disposition, estimated length, and anomalies during each fishing event.
• Perform quality control on collected video footage.
• Help with logistics and issues, such as:
• Attend and assist with Electronic Monitoring meetings, and other meetings such as working groups, Fisheries Management Council, other industry-related meetings.
- Attend pre-planning meetings
- Assist with developing and producing outreach materials and instruction manuals for industry participants
- Assist with the installation, testing, initialization, and troubleshooting of all Electronic Monitoring system equipment on fishing vessels
- Assist with active data collection, hard drive removal, and removal of Electronic Monitoring system equipment at study completion
- Assist with data analysis
- Assist with training NMFS staff to review/audit video data
- Assisting with the inventory of video data
- Assist in the evaluation of sensor data to assess quality and completeness of the data set
- Assist with the estimation of total fishing effort and catch
- Assist in the comparison of vessels participating in the study to determine compatibility of the video equipment for study purposes
- Assist in the comparison of Electronic Monitoring with other data sources
- Provide feedback to FSB staff on Electronic Monitoring systems documenting of bycatch
- Assist in determining the adequacy of collected video data for use by NOAA Fisheries
The assistant will also support NEFOP with these tasks:
• Identify events with outreach potential, assist with setup and work at outreach events.
• Assist in maintaining open communication with industry participants in the field and offer support when needed (i.e. contact information, review of data collection techniques, picking up samples, etc.).
• Attain familiarity with at-sea monitoring editing processes and protocols for all observed fisheries.
• Perform observer duties at sea in order to become familiar with protocols, data collection, observer responsibilities and issues observers encounter while working as a government representative in a field setting.
• Go to sea and assist with trip trainer trips, shadow trips, and fishery research trips as needed.
• Guide and give feedback to observers for data quality improvement as necessary. Provide performance and background information for observer debriefings and data bonus evaluations, as requested.
• Work to develop innovative methods for determining if trends in observer data collection exist, by observer or region.
• Keep data team and Branch Chief informed of important and controversial data, data quality and compliance issues and of substandard data collection by observers.
• Develop outreach materials for release to members of the fishing industry to explain observer related duties.
• Organize meetings with fishermen to discuss observer related topics and conduct interviews with fishermen using the observer-developed “Comment Card.”
• Contribute to a monthly informational mailing to observers and NEFOP staff on relative fishing information, changes in regulations and the effects on fishing patterns.
• Maintain regular contact with observers in the field and offer support when needed (i.e. contact information, review of data collection techniques, picking up samples, etc.).
• Develop training aids or resources for observers.
• Perform as a NMFS-certified observer on a minimum of five commercial fishing trips per year. These deployments will occur on a minimum of two gillnet, two otter trawl and one scallop trip per year and should not occur on the same boat more than once.
• Participate in observer training on various topics, including specialized fisheries and EM protocols.
• Work with NEFOP staff in the development of new protocols.
• Work with NEFOP staff to improve data quality by providing information related to fishing practices, effort and fishing behavior for use during observer trainings and verification of data during auditing and testing. Assist in the documentation of data quality issues by writing reports and interviewing involved parties.
• Work to improve communications between the NEFOP and commercial fishermen. Inform commercial fishermen on NEFOP protocols and policies including the late observer and data release policies, data collection protocols, how to fill out a comment card, sampling and sub-sampling protocols and pre-trip notification requirements.
• Serve as a means to provide a direct avenue for feedback from commercial fishermen to the NEFOP. Provide feedback to the NEFOP specifically focusing on concerns that commercial fishermen have related to observer performance, data collection, sampling, safety, priorities and protocols.
• A B.S. degree in Marine Biology, Fisheries, or a related field.
• Previous or current NEFOP observer or ASM experience is highly desired.
• Must be willing and available to go to sea and perform duties of a fishery observer as needed.
• Experience with Northeast and Mid-Atlantic fisheries, familiarity with the NEFOP or other observer programs is highly desirable. Candidates without NEFOP observing or editing experience will attend the first available observer training session.
• Ability to work well and communicate effectively with fishing community members. Prior knowledge of commercial fishing practices and operations is preferred.
• Familiarity with and ability to identify common Northeast fish species.
• Must be motivated, independent, detail-oriented, and organized, as well as a strong team player and effective communicator.
• Must be available for travel. Travel includes attending meetings on behalf of the NEFOP, attending outreach events, deploying on commercial fishing vessels, and other events as needed.
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite (PowerPoint, Excel, Word).
• Additional preferred skills include web development, SAS programming, ORACLE database knowledge, and SQL.
• Must possess a valid driver’s license.
The position is full time, with the rate of pay of $23-26/hr. The position is eligible for the benefits described on the Integrated Statistics website.
Integrated Statistics is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Consistent with its obligations under federal law, Integrated Statistics is committed to taking affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified women, minorities, disabled individuals, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and other eligible veterans. For assistance with accessibility of applications, posters, forms, and/or documents, please email the Integrated Statistics office.