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COAST Student Internships Summer 2018

​​National Marine Fisheries Service

West Coast Region Sustainable Fisheries Division 

Dolphin-Safe Tuna Tracking Internship


Host:  The NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region Sustainable Fisheries Division is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, fisheries management, enforcement, and habitat conservation. 

Location: Long Beach (map)

Internship Dates: June 4 - August 17, 2018; start and end dates are flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments and project schedule. 

Stipend: $5,000

Time Commitment: The internship is a full-time, 11-week commitment. Over the 11 weeks, the intern may take up to five days off for personal reasons, vacation, or illness. If participation is less than 100%, the stipend will be pro-rated.

Position Description and Responsibilities: The Sustainable Fisheries Division’s Tuna Tracking and Verification Program (TTVP) monitors the domestic production and importation of all frozen and/or processed tuna and tuna products nationwide to authenticate associated dolphin-safe claims. The TTVP is the only program recognized by the U.S. Government that legally satisfies all applicable federal regulations regarding dolphin-safe certification. The NOAA Fisheries TTVP staff work to fulfill the agency’s obligations to implement the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act by monitoring importation and domestic production of frozen and processed tuna and tuna products, and tracking compliance of federal regulations.

NOAA Fisheries has been involved in dolphin conservation for nearly 50 years, beginning with important scientific research and fishery observer placement in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean tuna purse seine fishery. Various aspects of the dolphin-safe tuna issue have made this subject one of the most litigated fishery subjects NOAA Fisheries has had over the years, which includes reaching the global stage at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. The selected intern will have the opportunity to assist NOAA Fisheries in this significant conservation effort.

One (1) internship is offered during the summer of 2018 to work with NOAA Fisheries TTVP staff to monitor the domestic production and importation of frozen and processed tuna and tuna products for dolphin-safe purposes. Duties include 

1. Reviewing importation and domestic production documentation (e.g., NOAA Form 370 and supporting documents) for compliance, validation and database entry of such documents (no more than 25% time)

2. When necessary, forwarding pertinent information to the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement for investigative review.

3. Conducting compliance outreach to importers, custom’s brokers, and/or domestic producers (up to 75% time).

Additional projects may be included based on the intern’s skills and interests. A summary report is expected at the completion of the internship.

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: This internship will require excellent verbal, written, and organizational skills. The intern must have the ability to take initiative and work independently, and operate in a team-oriented setting. Data entry experience is desired, as well the ability to interact with regulated companies and agency staff. Previous experience working on fisheries management and conservation issues is a plus. Core internship duties may be performed by students with physical disabilities or limitations as long as intern can review documents, enter data and use the phone and fax when necessary.

Skills Gained: The intern will gain perspective on the confluence of federal statutes, regulatory compliance and referral to law enforcement that is related to dolphin-safe tuna in the United States. The intern will acquire experience in project and data management while working in collaboration with tuna industry specialists and gain effective communication skills with government and industry constituents.

Eligibility/Requirements:  Applicants must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with project partners, the public, and NOAA Fisheries staff. Interns must be able to keep excellent notes and organize various streams of information into a coordinated action plan. A Federal background investigation, to include fingerprints and character references, is required. Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements​.​​


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