International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference (IFOMC) Resources

IFOMC Series Proceedings

  • 1998: Proceedings of the First Biennial Canada/US Observer Program Workshop; Pt. II
  • 2000: Canada/US Fisheries Observer Program: The Proceedings
  • 2002: 3rd International Fisheries Observer Conference (IFOC)
  • 2004: 4th International Fisheries Observer Conference (IFOC)
  • 2007: 5th International Fisheries Observer Conference (IFOC)
    • It was at the close of this conference that the word “Monitoring” was added to the conference name to accommodate non-human monitoring systems. Other products from this conference were the Observer Professionalism Working Group Report (below), which included reports of four committees in the working group – observer wages and benefits; support and opportunities; employment standards; and social equity (see Observer Professionalism Working Group (below).
  • 2009: 6th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference (IFOMC)
  • 2013: 7th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference (IFOMC)
    • This was the first conference in which the Steering Committee had not recorded, and subsequently transcribed, the conference. Thus, many important discussions following the panels were lost. This marks a departure from past IFOC/IFOMC proceedings where these discussions were transcribed verbatim into the proceedings, as well as the panelists discussions. We feel this is a transgression from transparency which is important because the IFOMC is the only venue of its kind to address issues specifically related to fisheries monitoring, including the violation of observer rights. Fisheries resources are publicly owned and almost all of the observer programs in the world are publicly funded. Therefore transparency in the discussions and progression of this conference series is vital. Among the omissions from the proceedings was an entire panel on the International Observer Bill of Rights (see the Power Point presentation of the Observer Rights panel below). This is why the APO has encouraged the Steering Committee to record all panels and workshops and transcribe them verbatim into the proceedings.
  • 2016: 8th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference
  • 2018: 9th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference

The next conference is scheduled to be held in Hobart, Australia in March 2023.  Watch here for updates.

IFOMC Working Groups and Workshops

Observer Rights Panel – This was the panel presentation presented at the 7th IFOMC in 2013.  Despite this being an entirely separate panel to present the International Observer Bill of Rights, the presentations were not included in the proceedings. 
Observer Professionalism Working Group (OPWG) – Keith Davis led and organized this working group at the IFOMC conferences from 2005 until his last conference in 2013, before his disappearance in 2015.  We tried to piece together and continue his efforts at the 8th IFOMC in 2016 but his shoes were difficult to fill.  With Keith at the helm, the groups’ efforts produced several outputs:

They also coordinated with other working groups at the IFOMC to promote observer professionalism through standards in training and safety standards. 
Observer Training Working Group
NOAA Observer Safety Training Standards

IFOMC Products

2008 Observer Professionalism Working Group Report 
Follow this link to the report holding all work conducted by the Observer Professionalism Working Group (OPWG) through July 2008.

Best Practices for the Collection of Longline Data to Facilitate Research and Analysis to Reduce Bycatch of Protected Species

Observer Bill of Rights 
Follow this link to the Observer Bill of Rights document, a product of a workshop and panel session held at the 2nd Conference; St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada; 2000.

International Observer Bill of Rights (IOBR) and Associated Code of Conduct for Responsible Observer Programmes – Observer Health and Safety (CCROP-HS) and Stakeholder Responsibilities (CCROP-SR). These documents were presented at the Observer Professionalism and Rights Workshop at the 7th IFOMC, Viña del Mar, Chile.