A scientific fisheries observer was deployed onboard two UK flagged fishing vessels, as a regional observer in the swordfish (Xiphias gladius) longline fishery operating in the Indian Ocean.
The observer tasks were to monitor the fishing vessels' operations in relation to the relevant conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission. In particular the observers shall:
- Record and report fishing activities, verify positions of the vessel;
- Observe and estimate catches as far as possible with a view to identifying catch composition and monitoring discards, by-catches and size frequency;
- Record the gear type, mesh size and attachments employed by the master;
- Collect information to enable the cross-checking of entries made to the logbooks (species composition and quantities, live and processed weight and location, where available); and
- Carry out such scientific work (for example, collecting samples), as requested by the IOTC Scientific Committee.
Photo Credit: Longline gear ready for setting (Observer - Felix Morales)