These scientists are called “observers'' and their job is to observe and collect data onboard U.S. commercial fishing vessels. The scientists collect information on fishing operations, catch composition, protected species interactions, and bycatch incidentally discarded. Observers also collect biological samples from the catch used to identify and improve our understanding of West Coast species.
The newest version of observers are cameras! That’s right, certain fishing vessels can sign up for the electronic monitoring program that puts 3 cameras on board, all aimed at various angles on the deck so that scientists can monitor catch data from afar. Cameras don’t get seasick, don't take up more space on the vessel, and allow for more safety and flexibility with logistics.