The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is mandated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act to monitor the level and nature of interactions between commercial fisheries and marine mammal stocks. Monitoring will begin for the Southeast Alaska salmon drift gillnet fishery in Alaska Department of Fish and Game management districts 6 and 8, which encompass the greater Petersburg and Wrangell areas respectively, during 2012 and 2013. Saltwater Inc was awarded the contract to implement the program together with NMFS. The Alaska marine mammal observer program (AMMOP) is focused on providing statistically reliable information to measure and report on injury and mortality of marine mammals. AMMOP will rely on marine mammal observers to collect this information and support scientific studies. Observers will based from the towns of Petersburg and Wrangell, and will travel in independent work boats to the fishing grounds to conduct research during commercial fishing periods.
Saltwater Inc is recruiting for skilled boat operators for the 2012 and 2013 marine mammal observer program. Boat operators will drive single engine 23’ skiffs to provide transport and a platform for observers on the fishing grounds. Boats will be operated in inside Southeast Alaska nearshore coastal waters to approximately 6 miles offshore. Given the ocean conditions in Southeast Alaska, significant experience in small boat operations, and first-hand knowledge of local waters and the commercial fishery is strongly desired.
The nature of the study requires observers to work when the fishing is occurring. The boat operator positions will start with the gillnet commercial fishery in early June and continue through early October. Boat operators will work each day of the commercial opener, which is typically Sunday through Tuesday. Boat operators may also be required to work an additional 1 or 2 days each week, if commercial fishing period extensions are given. Therefore, the boat operator schedule will need to be flexible to accommodate traveling to the fishing sites on short notice. This job is not for people interested in a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. routine! Excepted time periods for work are a minimum of 3 and up to 5 days weekly. This position is overtime exempt; boat operators will receive a competitive daily salary based on a 12-hour work day.
Both Observers and boat operators will frequently interact with fishermen during the program. Thus, good communication skills are imperative. The nature of this work requires boat operators to act independently while contributing to the success of the entire program. Strong judgment is required to make decisions concerning weather, safety, and work schedules. A flexible attitude is also necessary to adapt to the established routine on the fishing grounds and the dynamic nature of the fishery.
During the program boat operators will be based out of the towns of Petersburg and/or Wrangell. During commercial fishing periods, observers and boat operators may stage for up to 3 nights out of remote housing or cabins in closer proximity to the fishing grounds.
Boat operator candidates will be evaluated based on their knowledge of seamanship practices and experience operating in local waters. Operators must meet the following requirements:
Preferred, but not required, skills:
Interested applicants should fill out the boat operator application form under the How Do I Apply? section on our website. Applicants will be asked to fill out an application demonstrating their skills and experience as they relate to this program, in addition to provide a copy of a recent resume.
For more information about this position please contact Eric Dobbs:
733 N Street Anchorage, AK 99501-3226
Phone: (907) 276-3241 ext. 6