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The Association for Professional Observers (APO) is a non-profit organization with the mission to strengthen fisheries monitoring programs through advocacy and education. The APO strongly supports scientifically robust and transparent fisheries monitoring programs to support sustainable fisheries management and reduced bycatch in fisheries.
The APO is an all-volunteer organization based in Eugene, Oregon that keeps abreast of the rapidly changing national and international trends in commercial fisheries monitoring. We support the independent scientists who monitor commercial fisheries at sea so that they can provide fisheries managers with unbiased data on fish catch and bycatch.
Observers collect information on catch composition, interactions of protected species (such as sea turtles, marine mammals, sea birds) with fishing gear and boats (i.e. deaths and injuries, entanglements), weather information, as well as a host of biological samples of commercial fish. They are the critical base-line data collectors for fisheries managers.
Observers regularly experience harassment and interference in the course of their duties and their jobs are difficult with little support. They work alongside the fishermen at sea for sometimes months at a time. They are the ears and eyes for the public regarding what is being caught, so our organization advocates on their behalf - that they may collect this critical unbiased data unhindered.
- Elizabeth Mitchell
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