Accompanied At Sea: Voices from the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Sara Weeks
  • For 40 years, fisheries observers have sailed with New England fishermen, documenting catches and practices. Despite being outsiders, they offer a unique perspective on fisheries management. They work with various gear types, from trawls to lobster pots, covering a wide range of species. In a month, they travel from Maine to North Carolina, meeting diverse crews from around the world. This project shares their untold stories, shedding light on the fishing industry from a different angle.

Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Monique Arsenault Accompanied At Sea: Voices from the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program

Monique Arsenault is a marine observer with a background in biomedical science. Born in April, she grew up in Pelham, New Hampshire, near the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border. Both sides of her family hail from Canada, with her maternal grandparents working in mills and factories in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and her paternal family originating from Prince Edward Island. Arsenault's interest in marine biology began in college, where she initially majored in the subject before switching to a broader biomedical science degree.

Sara Weeks Falmouth, MA NOAA Fisheries
Rob Bland Accompanied At Sea: Voices from the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program

Rob Bland is a seasoned Northeast Fisheries Observer with over 19 years of experience in the field. Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Rob developed a love for the outdoors and aquatic environments from a young age, thanks to his family's recreational fishing trips and camping adventures. His interest in marine life was further piqued by a documentary he watched in sixth grade about humpback whale discovery, which led him to pursue a career in marine research. Rob attended a school in Mathias, Maine, which marked the beginning of his journey on the East Coast.

Sara Weeks Falmouth, MA NOAA Fisheries
Tori Pilger Accompanied At Sea: Voices from the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program

Tori Pilger is a marine biologist who worked as an observer for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center fishery monitoring Operations Branch. Pilger graduated from college with a degree in marine biology and moved to Texas before joining the observer program through East West Technical Services. Pilger trained in 2018 and spent three years as an observer, primarily on single-day trips on scalloping day boats due to chronic seasickness.

Sara Weeks Falmouth, MA NOAA Fisheries
Hannah Cinnemantaro Accompanied At Sea: Voices from the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program

Hannah Cinnemantaro is a marine observer with a rich family history in the marine industry. Born and raised in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Hannah grew up close to the ocean, influenced by her parents, who both worked in the marine industry. Her mother worked on a Whale Watch since she was pregnant with Hannah, and her father worked on another Whale Watch boat and in the marine industry with oil riggers. Hannah's love for the ocean led her to an internship on a whale watch out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, where she collected quantitative and qualitative data on humpbacks on Stellwagen Bank.

Sara Weeks Falmouth, MA NOAA Fisheries
Kevin Anderson Accompanied At Sea: Voices from the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program

Kevin Anderson is a marine biologist with a rich family history in fishing and farming. His passion for marine biology was inspired by his grandmother, who had a deep love for the ocean. Anderson attended community college for two years before transferring to the University of Rhode Island (URI) to complete his degree in marine biology. After graduation, he was eager to join the workforce and obtained his scuba certificate alongside his diploma. Anderson began his career in Alabama, working for Dauphin Island Sea Lab on fisheries independent surveys.

Sara Weeks Falmouth, MA NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office