| Species identification in the North Pacific Observer Program : training, protocols and data monitoring - :12608 | Education and Outreach | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Species identification in the North Pacific Observer Program : training, protocols and data monitoring
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  • Corporate Authors:
    Alaska Fisheries Science Center (U.S.)
  • Description:
    The Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division is responsible for development, implementation, and continuing operation of the North Pacific Observer Program. Observers in this Program are expected to accurately and consistently identify all commercially important fish and crab species as well as numerous other species, including forage fishes, elasmobranchs, and some species of sculpins. Because consistently accurate species identifications are such a critical facet of observer data collection, the Observer Program has implemented a series of policies and procedures to ensure that the species composition data collected by observers are as accurate and complete as possible. This document provides an overview of those procedures and policies. It is organized in three sections that correspond with the three phases of an observer's deployment sequence. The first section covers hiring and pre-deployment training, including hiring prerequisites, training procedures, certification exams, and field identification materials. The second section covers the actual deployment period, including species and species groups identified, confirmation procedures, in season advising, and the special cases of species groupings used for longline data. The third and final section covers post-deployment debriefing and quality control measures, such as error checks, staff review of species identification forms, photographs, and collected specimens, and the evaluation of observer performance. [doi:10.7289/V5/AFSC-PR-2016-04 (http://dx.doi.org/10.7289/V5/AFSC-PR-2016-04 )]

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