What is a fishery observer and what is their role?

The main fishing fleets worldwide have an on-board fishery observer programme. Their role is extremely important for the vessel, as they are in charge of certifying and verifying that the sustainable fishing practices are in line with international standards.

The observer scheme has two goals.

On one hand, monitoring the fishing vessel’s compliance with the fishing and environmental standards, and on the other, carrying out extensive biological sampling.
They control over 90% of the net setting operations in vessels that fish all day, and their activities can be divided into two main groups: those of a biological nature and those of a legal nature related to compliance with the regulations in force.

Their most important biological activities include the following:

  • Drafting reports on the catches of non-target species, and catches of protected, threatened and endangered species, where applicable.
  • Gathering information on the target species such as size, sex, maturity and oil content.
  • Collecting otolith and stomach samples.
  • Draft reports on fishing gear specifications and monitor routines.

Regarding legal activities:

  • Analysing the weight of the product and provide status reports.
  • Check the logbook and vessel sightings.
  • Check the storage chamber and routinely monitor the fishing hold and the bridge.
  • Draw up season reports.

At Atunlo, we practice #SosTunability (a campaign to promote responsible consumption of tuna) and our tuna comes from vessels with on-board or electronic observers that certify compliance with international marine sustainability standards and guidelines Atunlo is committed to.