Work at Saltwater
How to Apply
North Pacific Groundfish
Alaska Shellfish (Crab)
West Coast Groundfish
Links for Observers
Southeast Atlantic Fisheries
Want to know more?
• Provide independent catch estimates.
• Sample catches for species composition and size.
• Collect biological samples.
• Monitor marine mammal and bird interactions with fishing gear.
• 30 semester hours in applicable biological sciences.
• 5 college-level credits in math and statistics.
• College course using dichotomous (taxonomic) keys.
• U.S. citizenship.
• Drug Test (pre-screen & random tests).
• Previous experience as an observer.
• Experience in scientific data collection and data entry beyond college.
• Previous experience on boats.
• Valid and current passport.
To be eligible to work as a SEFSC observer, candidates must attend and pass an intensive 3-week class. NMFS conducts training in Galveston, TX, Panama City or Miami, FL at various times throughout the year. Saltwater selects candidates from qualified applicants, and pays for their time, meals, and room and board during training. Training schedule TBD.
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Southeastern Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) Observer
Saltwater Inc. is currently bidding on the SEFSC Observer Program. If SWI is awarded the contract, training for vessel observer and PROP observer positions will begin by the end of 2018. Applications are being taken and interviews are beginning now, in anticipation of this contract. Applicants must be currently living, or be willing to live, in the areas of Galveston, TX, Panama City, FL, or Miami FL, depending on where your home port is assigned. Saltwater will not pay relocation costs.
Observers in the Southeastern Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) Observer Program collect biological data while living aboard commercial fishing vessels working in the Gulf of Mexico and southern Atlantic Ocean. SEFSC also has Platform Observers (PROP) who live on oil rigs and monitor for certain marine life and facilitate collections of these marine species, when impacted, subsequent to blasting episodes. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) uses this information for in-season fishery management and to establish sustainable fishing quotas for future fishing seasons. The southeast waters are a highly productive ecosystem which is home to enormous fish resources as well as a host of wildlife including vast array of marine mammal life. Observer data is critical to ensuring the sustainability of the valuable marine resources.
Observers work on commercial fishing vessels, as well as oil rigs in the Gulf. Working conditions on fishing boats vary widely but all are almost always challenging with weather, and extended time at sea. Biologists typically work out on an open deck, often for hours at a time, or for long periods of time in factories. Observers must be flexible and resourceful in establishing a sampling station and sampling methods, and capable of heavy lifting. Observers determine their own workday depending on the vessel’s fishing schedule and NMFS’ sampling protocols. Sampling and paperwork often require observers to work long and odd hours, seven days a week. Shifts range from 5 to 15 hours a day, and it’s rare to sleep uninterrupted for eight hours. Trip lengths vary from as little as a few days to as long as 30 days or, very rarely, 8 weeks at sea. Observer contracts vary length, but generally begin at a 90-day contract. We encourage — and reward — repeat contracts.
For more details on the program and observer requirements, see the summary on right or visit the official SEFSC site.
Saltwater Inc. is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.
Saltwater Inc. • 733 N Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501 • Phone (907) 276-3241 • Toll-Free (800) 770-3241