Pacific Islands Regional Observer Program (PIROP)
These are entry-level positions with training provided at government facilities in Honolulu, HI.
The main duty of observers is to collect data. The data collected by observers includes basic biological information from target & non-target species, catch & discard rates, fishing gear descriptions, catch & interaction rates of sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals, sightings of protected species and the collection of samples & specimens from selected species. Observers also collect valuable economic survey data.
Another important component to the observers duties include outreach to the fishers on some fishing regulations and protected species handling. The goal is to help fishers comply with certain regulations pertaining to by-catch mitigation rules.
Observers also assist on-going research projects by tagging incidentally caught sea turtles and collecting valuable skin biopsies from marine mammals. Observers may also have the chance to participate in the annual Spiny & Slipper lobster tag-recapture cruises in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Observers are frequently employed by regional fishery scientists to work as at-sea data collectors to help monitor experimental fishing techniques.
The 3 week training course will cover the following topics.
• Safety at Sea & First Aid
• Species Identification
• Protected Species Data & Handling
• Fishing Gear Characteristics
• Data Forms, Data Collection and Data Entry
Biologists employed as fishery observers in the PIROP must meet the following mandatory qualifications:
Possess a Bachelor's degree with a major in one of the biological sciences from an accredited four year college or university with at least 30 semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, physics, or mathematics, of which at least 6 semester hours are in marine science or fisheries.
Additional mandatory requirements for all applicants are:
• Successfully passing a Federal Background Check
• CPR and First Aid Certification
• Successfully passing a Health Physical Exam