Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has announced plans to reinstate the At-Sea Observer Program (ASOP).
The program was suspended April 2 due to COVID-19 health concerns. A conditional resumption was then issued until Aug. 12.
Following public and stakeholder consultations DFO released a fishery notice Sept. 9 stating they will now begin a two-phased transition to fully reinstate the ASOP.
In the first phase, vessels starting trips on or after Sept. 23 that are fishing under the groundfish trawl Option A licence conditions with a receiving tank will be required to carry an at-sea observer and electronic monitoring system.
In Phase 2, all Option A bottom-trawl vessels will be required to carry at-sea observers.
DFO will be providing more information in late September.
At-sea observers are responsible for the on-board monitoring of fishing activities, collecting scientific data, and monitoring industry compliance with fishing regulations and licence conditions.