Fishing industry seeks emergency waiver from federal fishery observer requirement.

West Coast trawlers and fishing industry leaders looking to minimize the risk of exposure to the coronavirus are asking for an emergency waiver from a requirement to carry human observers. The National Marine Fisheries Service provided a two-week waiver from observer coverage in the spring. Chris Oliver, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, clarified in a message posted Thursday that waivers remain available on a vessel-by-vessel basis. According to a spokesman, the federal agency has issued some individual vessel waivers for trips in the past three months — all were for times when observers were not available, not for other reasons, such as a vessel operator’s concerns about the coronavirus. >click to read< 15:54

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