We have now reviewed most of the major elements of an observer’s responsibilities, which include:

  • Describing fishing gear, technology, and operations (including FADs)
  • Identifying all commonly encountered tunas, other bony fish, sharks, rays, and turtles
  • Understanding best practices for the handling and release of sensitive species
  • Recording catch estimates, fish lengths, and other biological data
  • Recording data on nontarget species, such as :
    1. Tuna discards
    2. shark and billfish catch and discards, and
    3. other species catch and discards
  • Reporting all information completely and accurately

Considering all the effort put into fulfilling these duties, it should not be forgotten that the reporting of this work, completely and accurately, is the linchpin of an effective observer trip.