This Comment addresses the question of how observers should be classified within the structures of maritime law. Part II discusses the importance of the fisheries observer program, as well as the federal authority that created it. Part III discusses the risks and remedies afforded to those who work upon the high seas and presents the policy reasons for granting observers seaman status. Part IV discusses the judicial debate surrounding this issue and presents the legal reasons for granting observers seaman status. Part V discusses how the reauthorization of the Magnuson Act provides an opportunity to clearly define the observer's legal status. Finally, Part VI concludes that because observers are exposed to the same high rate of injury which plagues traditional seamen, and because observers satisfy the Supreme Court's test for seaman status, observers should be provided the full panoply of remedies available to these traditional maritime employees.
Alecia M. Van Atta, Lost at Sea: An Argument for Seaman Status for Fisheries Observers, 18 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 629 (1995).