What is the APO?


Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of information for observers, and the public, on issues related to fishery observer programs.

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Fishing Net
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Observer Harassment and
Interference is


Assault, harassment, interference and bribery attempts are not an acceptable condition of being employed as an observer. These are federal and international violations of the law. These laws are intended to allow observers to collect unbiased biological data and specimens on board commercial vessels, processing plants and other monitored sampling platforms.

The observer position has been created as a primary function of federal, provincial, state and regional governments in their task to objectively manage public ocean resources. Observer programs and observer employers should support observers in their ability to carry out these duties. Observers should be well-informed of these laws and the process for which violations will be prosecuted.


It is in the best interest of fisheries resource managers to support and protect observers' welfare.

Observer Safety

NOAA Observer Program Safety Review

Status Updates on Implementation of the OPSR

WCPFC Observer Safety Measures and Required Safety Equipment