Current Board Members
Liz has worked for a variety of marine mammal and commercial fisheries observer programs since 1983. She has experience working in the North Pacific, Eastern Tropical Pacific (including Hawaii), New Zealand, South America, and the South Atlantic (Antarctica). Liz became involved in the APO in 1996 and has played an integral role with the organization since then.
Whether dredge operations, seismic research, commercial or recreational fisheries, all are associated with extracting marine resources. As these resources become increasingly depleted, independent monitoring (observer programs) will grow and continue to play an increasingly important role in ocean management. Liz believes that observers will face increasing pressures from contractors and commercial industries that may compromise their duties. Federal and state agencies require close examination of their monitoring programs to ensure transparency in management decisions.
Educating the public about the scientific protocols and the data and specimens observers collect is vital to gauge the effectiveness and accuracy of monitoring programs. Liz hopes to help the APO continue to build support for observers and work toward fostering a system that provides for national standards of truly independent monitoring and analysis of fishery impacts on the marine environment.
Contact Liz at email@example.com
Ebol RojasEbol Rojas started working on the sea in 1994 with the Uruguayan Navy. During his nine year career with the navy, he obtained a Fishing Master certification from the Maritime School of UTU, with further specializations in both fisheries biology and fishing technology, acquired a Bridge Watch Keeping Certificate, and became a rescue swimmer. Ebol first started working part time as a Scientific Observer for the Uruguayan-based DINARA (National Direction of Aquatic Resources) in 1998, under the authority of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). In 2003 Ebol resigned from the Uruguayan Navy in order to work full time as an observer.
During Ebol's nineteen years (3000 + sea-day) career at sea and as an observer, he has observed upon many waters throughout the world, including: the Atlantic, the Indian, and the Pacific Oceans, and in the Southern Ocean- on the Ross Sea and near the South Orkney Islands. He has observed among numerous commercial and experimental fisheries, such as: krill, hake, tuna, swordfish, crab, and Antarctic toothfish. Among these fisheries, Ebol has had the opportunity to work with numerous fishing gear types, such as: automated pelagic and bottom longlining, fish and crab pots, bottom and mid-water trawling, including mid-water trawl with a continuous fishing (pumping) system, manual longline with specialized Mammals and Birds Excluding Devices (MBED), Tuna Transhipment operations, Tuna transhipment inspector, and most recently as a Lead Marine Mammal Observer. Observing has taken Ebol to ports in Namibia, South Africa, Gabon, Angola, Mauritius, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Robinson Crusoe Island, Tristan da Cunha island, the Falkland Islands, Singapore, Seychelles and Spain. Ebol has also worked in an international context upon Vanuatu, Singapore, Taiwan, Bahamas and Panama flagged vessels. While working with DINARA, Ebol: assisted with management of Antarctic observer operations, helped to redesign observer data collection forms, worked to adapt the data input techniques for and to asses the success of the Mammals and Birds Excluding Device (MBED), and collaborated in on the drafting of several internal technical reports. Ebol was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and now resides in both the USA and Mexico. Besides his work as an independent consultant on Fisheries Observation and Monitoring Ebol is currently a certified CCAMLR International Observer, ICCAT Regional Observer Program Observer, IOTC Regional Observer Program Observer, CCSBT Observer for Bluefin Tuna transhipments (under agreement with the IOTC), NOAA NMFS Protected Species Observer, BOEM Marine Mammal Observer, JNCC Marine Mammal Observer, Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) operator, and an Uruguay domestic observer program observer.
Ebol has been working with the APO as a regular Mail Buoy contributor since 2006, and as an APO board member since 2007. He has been a member of the Observer Safety Working Group for the 5th IFOC held in Vancouver (Canada), and for the 6th IFOMC in Portland (Maine) and a member of the Observer Professionalism Working Group for the 6th. IFOMC. He sees observers as the fundamental suppliers of the information needed for making proper fisheries management decisions, and he sees the observer position as essential for improving the efficiency of fishing gears and techniques which help to minimize the incidental capture of protected species such as sea birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles. With the APO he has been working on new methodologies to track and identify observer safety issues and incidents, developing a new reporting method which will help to minimize them through learning, focused training and equipment required for each identified situation.
Contact Ebol at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alfred "Bubba" Cook
Alfred Lee Cook, Jr., known by his friends and family as "Bubba", has spent the last 11 years working in ocean conservation and fisheries management around the globe. His travels have led him from coordinating the implementation of a program to manage the Alaskan crab fisheries made famous in the television show "Deadliest Catch" to supporting a locally-managed marine protected area project in the small village of Wailevu in the Fiji Islands. In his current position of Western Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Bubba negotiates and advocates for greater conservation measures for all tuna species in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Bubba holds a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries science and a Juris Doctor focused on Natural Resource Policy and Environmental Law, making him well suited to take on complex policy initiatives in large scale fisheries like the tuna fisheries. Forever committed to the ocean, during his spare time you will find Bubba swimming or diving with the marine creatures he loves, fly fishing, or just playing guitar near the water's edge.
Contact Bubba at: email@example.com