In the Heard Island & McDonald Islands Fishery and the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery, one hundred per cent observer coverage is required on every trip.
This arrangement has been in place since operations began in the 1990s in Australia’s sub-Antarctic fisheries (the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Fishery and the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery). This is consistent with requirements specified in the Conservation Measure for all finfish fisheries adopted by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

Observers play a critical role in monitoring fishing operations and with the collection of biological information for use in stock assessments including data on the catch and size composition of target and bycatch species, undertaking tagging work and otolith collection for studying the age of fish.