Pacific Islands Region Observer Program Debriefer Support

We are recruiting a qualified Observer Program Debriefer for a federal contract we are bidding. This position is full time for one year with possible extension for an additional year, located at the NOAA Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu, HI, and set to begin in April 2021.

The debriefer will work with NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Servie (NMFS) to advise observers, verify the accuracy of observer data, ensure data quality standards are met, and develop training materials for the Pacific Islands Region Observer Program.

Our ideal candidate would be someone with experience debriefing pelagic longline fishery observers, has a knowledge of pelagic longline fisheries, and is proficient in identification of fish species, marine mammals, sea turtles, and sea birds encountered in the Hawaii pelagic longline fishery. The ability to work aboard a commercial fishing vessel as an observer or researcher is a must.


Analyze data collected by observers aboard commercial longline fishing vessels. The trip data collected includes:

  • Biological information from target and non-target species
  • Catch and discard rates
  • Fishing gear descriptions
  • Catch and interaction rates of sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals
  • Economic data
  • Sightings and sample collection from protected species
  • Samples from selected fish species

Debrief observers by interviewing observers returning from sea to ensure data and sample quality for their trip, including:

  • Resolve issues with data and sample collection, fisheries enforcement, and protected species bycatch
  • Review completed observer data, economic data and biological samples
  • Ensure all samples and data forms are properly labeled and accounted for
  • Assist with data entry and enter data as necessary

Assist with maintaining observer database and data validation programs, including:

  • Edit observer data using data validation programs to identify database anomalies and data entry errors to ensure data accuracy
  • Verify the accuracy of catch, fishing effort and fishing gear data
  • Develop data editing queries and routines to enhance data accuracy
  • Arrange for biological specimens to be transferred to the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC).

Assist in developing training material and assist fishery observers to be proficient in:

  • Biological sampling and data collection onboard commercial fishing vessels
  • Fish, sea turtle, marine mammal, and seabird identification
  • Proper protected species handling techniques
  • Protected species interaction documentation
  • Documentation of fisheries enforcement incidents
  • Safety at sea and emergency preparedness

Analyze fishing fleet observer coverage rates, bycatch rates, and fishing fleet compliance

Assist in the development, testing, implementation, and maintenance of the electronic reporting system for at sea data collection

Assist in the review and testing of the electronic data collection system


  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology or related field of study
  • 1 year of related experience
  • Current first aid and CPR certifications
  • Skill in performing computer data entry and using word processing applications to write documents and reports
  • Knowledge or experience debriefing pelagic longline fisheries observers
  • Skill in reviewing observer data after final audits for errors and reviewing observer forms and reports to provide comments to data editors and observers
  • Knowledge or experience advising pelagic fishery observers
  • Knowledge of pelagic longline fisheries and be proficient in identification of fish species, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds encountered in the Hawaii pelagic longline fishery
  • Ability to work aboard a commercial fishing vessel as an observer or researcher


Salary commensurate with experience.

How To Apply

Only qualified applicants with a bachelor’s degree and the requisite experience need to apply. If interested, applicants should submit a resume and cover letter that briefly describes how you meet the qualifications listed above and why you would be the best candidate for the job.

Please send your resume and cover letter to Kathy Robinson at

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