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NOAA FISHERIES: Office of Science and Technology
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July 2006

Bycatch Estimation Methodology Assessment Workshop. This workshop provided fish, protected resources, and seabird assessment scientists with their first opportunity to formally discuss methods currently used to estimate bycatch and discard in U.S. fisheries.  Results of this workshop will be used to develop a National Bycatch Report, which will provide a comprehensive summary of regional and national bycatch estimates.

May 2006 Vessel Selection Bias Workshop.  This workshop focused on evaluating procedures employed in observer programs to select vessels for observation and other factors that could cause bias in estimates of catch and bycatch. Based on the evaluations, recommendations were developed by regional observer program mangers, observer trainers, and data analysts to address potential biases. The recommendations were national in scope to be applied to all regional observer programs, as well as specific recommendations for reducing bias in each program.
March 2006

Contracting Template Workshop.  The NOP convened a workshop that brought together the regional Observer Program Managers and Contract Specialists from the Acquisition and Grants Office (AGO) to develop guidelines for the use of an Observer Program Performance-Based Services Acquisition Request for Proposal (RFP) template and develop solutions to ongoing observer related issues through national and regional collaboration.

March 2001/September 2002/September 2003/January 2004/April 2005 Safety Trainers Workshops. The objectives of these workshops have been to bring together observer trainers from all NOAA Fisheries observer programs to facilitate distribution and sharing of safety training resources, to improve teaching methods, and to work towards the development of national standards for observer safety training.
July 2003 Coverage Levels Workshop. This workshop brought together representatives from observer programs around the country to discuss observer coverage level issues and needs. The primary objective was to initiate a process that will lead to establishment of sound, program-specific coverage levels.
April 2003 Data Confidentiality Workshop. The objectives of the workshop were to reach consensus on revisions needed to the NOAA Administrative Order 216-100 to address confidentiality of observer data, as well as other areas that require revision, clarification, or updating, and to identify areas where the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act should be amended to address outstanding data confidentiality issues.
March 2003 Small Boats Workshop. The objectives of this workshop were to identify and discuss issues related to the deployment of observers on small vessels, including safety concerns and the requirement to have fishing vessels obtain USCG safety decals before deployments, the use of alternate platforms and alternative technologies to supplement observer coverage, and the expansion of observer coverage to recreational fishing vessels.
August 2001/February 2003 Contracting Workshops. The objectives of these workshops were to bring together specialists in contracting and representatives from all NOAA Fisheries observer programs to identify key elements of observer service provider contracts, to discuss various types of contracting mechanisms, and to improve skills in writing Statements of Work so that observer service contracts are clear, concise, and comprehensive, and reflect program standards for data quality and observer support.
June 2001 Insurance, Liability and Labor Workshop. The objectives of this workshop were to bring together specialists in the insurance industry and representatives from all NOAA Fisheries observer programs to facilitate a better understanding of insurance terminology, how much coverage is enough, various types of insurance coverages available, and pay structures.