GLOUCESTER, Mass. — NOAA Fisheries is extending the waiver granted to vessels with Greater Atlantic Region federal fishing permits to carry human observers or at-sea monitors through June 30. This action is authorized by a rule that provides the Greater Atlantic regional administrator authority to waive observer requirements, and is also consistent with the criteria described in the agency’s emergency rule on observer waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We intend to begin redeploying observers and at-sea monitors on vessels fishing in northeast fisheries on July 1,” an announcement on the agency’s website stated, unless changing conditions warrant re-evaluating that plan. “During the month of June, we will continue to work with regional observer and at-sea monitoring service providers to finalize their observer redeployment plans, conduct outreach with industry and finalize internal programs and policies that will support the safe and effective redeployment of observers and at-sea monitors in the region.”