Working as a Sea Sampler

Working as a Sea Sampler

Work as an IPHC Sea Sampler

For the management of the Pacific halibut fishery, setline survey speciliast, also known as sea samplers, are key players who collect data on IPHC’s Fishery-Independent Setline Survey (FISS) that are independent from the commercial fishery. IPHC’s quantitative scientists analyze the fishery-independent data collected by sea samplers in concert with commercial fishing data. The IPHC use these results to inform the decisions for setting the total allowable catch for the upcoming season. The sea sampler’s primary role is to collect biological and catch per unit effort (CPUE) data from Pacific halibut; however, because the chartered vessels present a valuable scientific research platform, samplers are also involved in other research projects during deployment. The IPHC also collaborates with other agencies to take full advantage of the marine research opportunities made possible by our fleet of vessels chartered for research.

All successful sea samplers have a passion for the sea and a sense of adventure. They are independent, hard-working problem solvers, who are safety conscious, flexible, and meticulous about data. 25-30 sea samplers are hired each year to work aboard a fleet of 12-15 IPHC-chartered commercial longline vessels and conduct the FISS, which ranges from the waters of northern California, up through British Columbia to the Bering Sea, and west to Attu in the Aleutian Islands. The majority of sea samplers return to the job the following summer.

Recent Sea Samplers


2017 Sea Samplers and IPHC Secretariat staff:

Back Row: Jessica Miller, Chris Noren, Nathan Willse, Jonathon Turnea, Ed Henry (staff), Sam Parker, Aaron Fleming, Jason Wright, Tyler Jack, Brian Will, Daniella Griffay, Jamie Goen (staff), Neil Duffy, Greg Riepma, Aaron Ranta (staff)

Middle Row: Eric Soderlund (staff), Jason Taylor, Julie Ayres, Tracee Geernaert (staff), Bonnie Gauthier, Katie Pilarski, Chris Clarke, Daniella Vracin, Jeffrey Scott, Collin Winkowski (staff)

Front Row: Peter Jankiewicz, Andy McDermott, Levy Boitor, Kaitlin Johnson, Dean Gaidica, Zach Kelleher, Niallan O’Brien (intern), Bruce Biffard