Comment sought on observer program insurance requirements

A fisherman arrives for a delivery at the 60° North Seafoods dock on Monday, May 28, 2018. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking public comment through Sept. 14 to support an initiative to reform and streamline observer program insurance requirements.

Goals of the reform effort are to ease the regulatory burden and reduce costs for private companies providing observer staffing to NMFS observer programs through more efficient, nationally applicable insurance requirements, NMFS stated in its posting in the Federal Register.

The aim is to eliminate outdated and/or inappropriate regulatory requirements, reduce observer deployment risks for vessel owners and shore side processors and identify insurance that could improve observer safety and facilitate full compensation for observer occupational injuries.

NMFS is seeking technical information on the types of insurance and minimum coverage amounts in dollars that would minimize observer deployment risks to the extent practicable considering costs and other factors.

NMFS is also seeking public comment on Federal Employees Compensation Act claims and benefits processing for observer occupational injuries and whether observer companies should carry private insurance to supplement FECA benefits for observers.

Email written comments to NMFS-HQ-ST.Insurance-Reform@NOAA.GOV

Include the subject heading of “Comments on Regional Observer Program RFI”. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, or Adobe PDF formats only.

Comments may be mailed to Dennis Hansford, 1315 East West Highway, Room 12506, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

For further information contact Hansford at 1-301-427-8136 or dennis.hansford@noaa.gov