Scallop Observer - New Bedford, Ma.

A.I.S. Inc.

A.I.S. Inc.

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New Bedford, MA, USA
Posted on Thursday, February 1, 2024

Interested in Fishery Sustainability, Management and Hands on Marine Biology Work? Become a Scallop Observer!!

A.I.S., Inc. (AIS) is a national scientific services firm supporting maritime activities requiring certification of compliance with environmental regulations as well as collecting data for use by Federal, State, Municipal, and other government agencies along the US coastline. AIS is recruiting Scallop Observers to work at sea collecting and recording data and biological samples for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFCS) aboard commercial fishing vessels.

The primary goals of the governments fishery observation programs are to provide quantitative biological, vessel, and gear-selectivity information for the New England and Mid-Atlantic fishery. Each observer operates on commercial fishing vessels operating in ports throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic. If you ever wanted to make a difference, this is how.

Commercial fishing dates back hundreds of years. Today commercial fishing continues to be possible due to cooperation between fishermen and fisheries management scientists like yourself. In order to facilitate that cooperation, fisheries observers collect data pertaining g to fishing programs, economics, catch data, and fishing efficiency. Collected data is used to document stock information which is then used to protect the environment and preserve future generations of fish/fishermen. Commit to the journey!

Click to Learn More about Becoming a Fisheries Observer

Observers’ record detailed information on the gear and fishing activity of the vessels. Observers work on deck on vessels ranging from 20’ to 100’ on trips roughly ranging from 7 to 14 days collecting data on fish catch and discard and incidental takes such as marine mammals, seabirds and marine turtles. After attending a 3-week paid training that will be conducted in person in Falmouth, MA observers are deployed from ports throughout New England and Mid-Atlantic states.

Accommodations and meal reimbursement during in person session of training are provided. Training includes instructions on sampling protocols, gear, fisheries, fish identification, marine mammal/sea turtle identification, and safety.

This is a challenging job and candidates must be mentally prepared to be away from home for multiple days, and must be physically able to handle heavy lifting, working odd hours, and long days in rough seas. Observing provides an excellent career in marine biology, as observers are widely recognized as being excellent field biologists. A broad range of advancement opportunities are available to those who demonstrate appropriate capabilities. Those opportunities include, but are not limited to, project management, field supervisors, and fieldwork in other programs.

Compensation: Monitors’ starting pay is $19.00/hour. Dependent on enrollment in our H&W benefit, biologists may also be eligible for an additional $4.41/hour for the first 40 hours worked on each calendar week for a total of $23.41 hour. This is a full–time position with benefits. Annually, monitors earn between $45K - $90K a year dependent on their availability to deploy offshore and their personal sea day accomplishments. Monitors will be paid a minimum of 12 hours for each calendar day offshore and are also eligible for additional compensable activities while on land. AIS benefits package includes health and dental insurance, vacation, sick and holiday benefits. Potential additional compensation consists of, Data quality bonus, Service awards, Fitness center reimbursement, Candidate Referral bonus

Travel is reimbursed at an hourly rate along with compensation for miles accrued on a personal vehicle as well as per diem at the specified Government rate.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor's degree in Marine Biology or Biology from an accredited college or university with 30 credits of biology coursework, 6 credits of marine science
  • At least one undergraduate course in math or statistics.
  • All relevant course work must have been performed at a level acceptable for credit at the candidate’s academic institution.
  • Experience with data entry on computers.
  • Observer candidates must be U.S. citizens, or be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Candidates must be physically able, as determined by a licensed physician’s certification to perform observer duties.
  • Your own transportation is required
  • Candidates are expected to commit to the program for at least one year.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • At-sea experience
  • Coursework in Dichotomous Keys


  • Applicants must be currently living, or be willing to live, in New Bedford, MA


If you would like to apply for one of these exciting new openings, please click the following link to submit the following information.

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter detailing sea and fish experience.
  3. At least 5 professional references (name, email address and phone number)
  4. Unofficial copies of your college transcripts.

All documents must be submitted for your application to be considered. If you have any questions pertaining to this opening, please feel free to reach out to the Talent Acquisition team at or 508-990-9055.

An Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of A.I.S. to recruit, hire, train, promote, transfer and compensate our employees and provide all other conditions of employment including Company sponsored events without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, lawful alien status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, citizenship status, veteran status or any other status protected by applicable law.

Must be able to work in the U.S. • VEVRAA Federal Contractor • Request Priority Protected Veteran Referral

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at A.I.S. Inc..