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June 11, 2018
Contact: Teri Frady

AIS, Inc Wins Northeast Fisheries Observer Contract

AIS Inc., a scientific services company headquartered in Marion, Mass., has been awarded a five-year, $50 million contract to provide fisheries observers for federal monitoring programs in the Northeast.

NOAA Fisheries has been contracting for fisheries observers in the Northeast since 1989. The work is fundamental to understanding and sustaining fisheries. AIS, Inc. is an experienced fisheries observer service company, employing people to monitor federal fisheries along the U.S. East Coast and in Alaska. Under this contract, the fisheries covered occur from Maine to North Carolina.

Fisheries observers work aboard commercial fishing vessels during fishing trips. They collect information on catch, both kept and discarded, as well as biological data and information on gear and fishing operations over a range of commercial fisheries. These data are used extensively by researchers and fishery managers to better understand the condition of fishery stocks, fishing businesses, and fishing operations.

NOAA Fisheries covers all costs for the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program, trains and certifies observers, and handles the data they collect. The agency also develops an annual schedule of observed days needed for each fishery in the region in order to collect enough information to estimate total catch (landings and discards), and interactions with marine mammals. The contractor is responsible for recruiting and maintaining a cadre of certified observers and for deploying them to obtain the required number of observed days for each fishery.

The Fisheries Sampling Branch at NOAA Fisheries' Northeast Fisheries Science Center will manage the contract. For more information, email Amy Martins or call 508-495-2266.