8th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference

29 August - 2 September 2016 - San Diego, California
BAHIA Resort Hotel

Conference Proceedings are now available, click here to view


Thank you for attending IFOMC 2016!

On behalf of our international steering committee, I wish to thank all those who attended the 8th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference in San Diego. It was an outstanding success with 248 participants from 31 countries including representatives from many observer programs from around the world, fishing industry groups, and end-users of the data that these programs collect.  The conference format included our distinguished keynote speakers, presented papers and posters, panel discussion sessions, workshops and less formal settings, such as trade exhibits, poster sessions and several social events.

The heart of this conference was with Keith Davis and other friends and family members of lost observers. Because of those losses and the International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference’s belief that the safety and security of observers is paramount, one of the recommendations from the conference was that all Regional Fisheries Management Organizations adopt best practices of health, safety, and welfare policies and tools, including the implementation of individual satellite-enabled safety beacons and communication devices.

During the conference wrap-up, recommendations for the next conference were offered including: a session focusing on stock assessment uses of observer data; a panel comprised and chaired exclusively by observers; a panel discussing the use of observers as educators; as well as the more widespread use of social media before, during and after the conference. 

I look forward to seeing you in Vigo, Spain for the 9th IFOMC in 2018 to ensure the adoption of these recommendations.

If you have any comments or questions contact me at Dennis.Hansford@noaa.gov.

Dennis Hansford
Conference Chair



Dennis C. Hansford, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, USA, 2016 Conference Chair
Lisa Borges, FishFix, Inc., Belgium 
Judy Dwyer, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada
Andrew France, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand
Oscar Guzman, Instituto de Fomento Pesquero, Chile
John D. Kelly, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, USA
John P. LaFargue, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, USA
Amy Martins, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, USA
Howard McElderry, Archipelago Marine Research, Inc., Canada
Ryan Murphy, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australia
Chris Rilling, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, USA
Elizabeth Scott-Denton, Ph.D., NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, USA

Assisted by Prof Steve Kennelly, IC Independent Consulting

About the IFOMC Conference

This conference is the premier international forum for working on the critical issues of fisheries observer programs, emerging monitoring technologies, and other approaches to fishery-dependent data collection and analyses. Since 1998, this conference series has been the only one of its kind to specifically address the many issues surrounding fisheries monitoring programs.


Vision & Mission

2016 8th IFOMC Vision, Mission, & Goals

Vision Statement
To develop, promote and enhance effective fishery monitoring programs to ensure sustainable resource management throughout the world’s oceans.

Mission Statement
To improve fishery monitoring programs worldwide through sharing of practices and development of new methods of data collection and analysis. To provide a forum for dialog between those responsible for monitoring fisheries and those who rely upon the data they collect.


Outcome Goals

Steering Committee and Host Team Operating Goals

Throughout the planning and execution of the conference, the Steering Committee and Host Team will strive:


  • To consider the subject of fishery monitoring broadly, including fisheries observer programs, emerging technologies, and other fishery dependent data collection approaches.
  • To engage the international community of those involved in the collection and analysis of fishery-dependent data, including observers, observer program staff, scientists, fisheries managers, monitoring contractors, fishing industry, and ENGO’s.
  • To remain mindful of the linkage between effective fisheries monitoring programs, sustainable resource management, and public acceptability of fisheries.


  • To develop results-oriented sessions that address a broad range of fisheries monitoring topics, explore the diversity of the field, and emphasize leading-edge areas.
  • To provide opportunities for delegates to participate in and contribute to all conference sessions through formal and informal processes.
  • To promote the international exchange of ideas and best practices through sharing upto-date information on fishery monitoring programs throughout the world.
  • To provide a forum for intra- and inter-discipline dialog amongst observers, program managers, scientists, industry members, resource managers, policy makers and others who work with fishery-dependent data.
  • To establish work groups for certain important observer program topics that would benefit from inter-session communication and sharing of resources.
  • To maintain and use a dedicated IFOC website for dissemination of conference materials and other fishery monitoring program resources.
  • To publish conference proceedings and disseminate them broadly.

2016 IFOMC Outcome Goals
To be considered successful, the 2016 IFOMC will:

  • Improve the quality of fishery monitoring data through sharing of best practices for collection and analysis of information.
  • Improve the use of fishery monitoring data to support sustainable resource management.
  • Improve accessibility to fishery monitoring data.
  • Support the development of new innovative data collection methods.
  • Support the development of international safety standards for at-sea fisheries observers.
  • Improve the training and safety of at-sea fisheries observers.
  • Support the development of fisheries observer professionalism practices on an international basis.

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