Observer Program

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"Fisheries Observer supervisor discuss data collection with observer team."

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Fisheries observers increase and expand use of e-reporting

During 2015, joint assistance from Pacific Community (SPC) and forum Fisheries Agency helped MIMRA make considerable improvements in data collection and management. MIMRA continues working toward an integrated fisheries information management system to streamline its regional and international reporting obligations.

MIMRA's fisheries Observers, who handle both monitoring on board purse seiners and port monitoring of transshipment operations, are migrating to the PNA Office-developed iFIMS (Fisheries Information Management System) for recording and managing data. This is complemented by existing TUFMAN and TUFMAN 2 databases.

The ongoing training program for Fisheries Observers entails further development of e-Reporting and e-Moniroting initiatives.

It is anticipated that these trainings will encourage observers to adapt by using new tools and technology in gathering data more efficiently and timely.

MIMRA's Fisheries Observer force continues to grow, with 62 active in 2015, an increase from the 52 working during 2014.

These Fisheries Observers covered 182 purse seine trips during the year. The main goal for the year was to focus on improving and expanding training programs carried out at the Maritime and Vocational Training Institute at the College of the Marshall Islands.

The Institute is gradually developing with a view toward addressing most of the needs of the observer program. One of the pilot projects undertaken by the Institute is to have Pacific island Regional Fisheries Observer (PIRFO) standards provided for certified MIMRA observers.

Fisheries Observer trainings are but one component of the overall training provided through the College of Marshal Islands. Included in the training are other aspects of maritime knowledge such as STCW-95 (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping), which include Basic Sea Safety, Survival, and Crewmanship.

This provides Fisheries Observers with a comprehensive and robust level of maritime standards and certification.

"One of the pilot projects undertaken by the Institute is to have Pacific Island Regional Fisheries Observer (PIRFO) standards provided for certified MIMRA observers."

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Observer Monitoring Trips up 62 percent

Fisheries monitoring and data collection by RMI fisheries observers expanded in FY 2013. The number of observers, though still well below the target of 100, increased 28 percent in FY 2013 over the previous year, with 38 active observers working during the year. The number of monitoring trips taken by these observers, mostly on purse seine vessels, increase 62 percent from 108 to 175 in FY 2013. The observer averaged 4.6 trips each with each fishing trip averaging 27 days. The 4.6 average trips per observer was also up FY 2012, when the average number of trips per observer was 3.5.

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