Fisheries Observer

The Ocean is calling…and we want YOU to join our mission in monitoring the health of our oceans to ensure their longevity for future generations.

We understand the unique qualifications this position requires and are fully committed to rewarding the right candidates. 

As a world-wide leader in both observer coverage and electronic monitoring, your future is potentially limitless with Saltwater Inc. 

We look forward to hearing from you!



Saltwater was founded in 1988 on the belief that the health of fisheries and oceans is one of the critical issues of our time.

We were one of the first companies certified to provide fishery observers when U.S. fishery observer programs were first established. Over the years our commitment to our mission – and our people – has enabled us to attract and retain top talent.

It’s the people who make Saltwater the company it is. We are always looking for people who are smart, creative and adventurous team members. We hire team-oriented people who like to work hard, take on big challenges and get things done. People who care about the ocean and the marine environment, and people who want to do things in life that matter.


We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer, NOAA ProTech-Fisheries Contractor and Certified Women Owned Small Business.

Saltwater Inc. is currently hiring Fisheries Observers for the Alaska Groundfish Program. Training will start June 3rd, July 8th, and August 5th and will be conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The training class is a paid 120-hour (3 week) training course. The first two weeks of training will be remote. The third and final week will be held in-person in Seattle, WA, at the NOAA West Coast Regional Center, Alaska Fisheries Science Center. After successfully completing training, you will be deployed to Alaska for your first 90-day contract.


The position:

Alaska groundfish observers gather data onboard commercial fishing vessels and processing plants, working out of ports along the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Most assignments Dutch Harbor, Akutan, King Cove, and Kodiak, AK.

Working as an Alaska groundfish observer is a unique job that takes place in some of the most remote, beautiful and pristine places on earth. It’s a job that provides opportunities to gain unparalleled field experience, and to contribute to something big – supporting the future health of some of the world’s greatest fisheries.

Observing is a physically and psychologically demanding job that can include exposure to cold, wet weather, cramped quarters, and rough seas. Phone and internet access is typically very limited, making it difficult to communicate with family or friends while at sea.

The rhythm of fishing often requires long, odd work hours with shifts ranging from 5 to 15 hours a day. Observers typically share a stateroom with up to 4 crew members, and rarely get a full, uninterrupted night of sleep. Seasickness is common, and vessels are rarely smoke free. On top of that, shipboard life can also be stressful since the goals, priorities and backgrounds of the crew and the observer can be very different.

The most important trait Saltwater looks for in an observer is maturity, which includes common sense, patience, thinking before acting, and the ability to listen and understand people with different viewpoints. Possessing a flexible attitude and adaptability are critical, and our most successful observers are hardworking, tactful, self-confident, and good communicators


Observer Duties:

Don’t worry NMFS is going to teach you all of this during your 3-week training course at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center!

  • Provide independent catch estimates in commercial fisheries
  • Sample species composition
  • Provide fish ID and measurements
  • Collect biological sample
  • Monitor for marine mammal and bird interactions
  • Document fishing activity (set times, gear performance, etc.)
  • Record and report all data to NMFS
  • Comply with all regulatory requirements
  • Carry out special project


Incentives for eligible observers:

  • Annual bonus
  • Assignment requests
  • Money Purchase Pension Plan
  • Gear reimbursement
  • Lead pay
  • Insurance reimbursement
  • Work for the only observer company whose home office is in Alaska!


Minimum requirements:

  • Bachelor of Science in a biological science (biology, fisheries, natural resources, wildlife biology, limnology etc.)
  • One statistics course and one math course.
  • College course using dichotomous (taxonomic) keys.
  • U.S. citizenship.


Contact: Jennifer LeBeau

Anchorage, AK

13 day(s) ago

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