Three fishermen make their way back to shore in Jonesport, Maine, after tying their boat up at its mooring in Sawyer Cove on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Credit: Bill Trotter

BOSTON — The federal government has extended a waiver on the requirement for at-sea monitors for some East Coast fisheries.

Fishing boats often carry human observers, or at-sea monitors, to gather data that is important to the management of fisheries. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the rule is waived in some northeastern U.S. fisheries until at least April 18.

NOAA said in a statement that it will “continue to evaluate the need for further extensions of this waiver on a weekly basis.” The waiver is a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Pentony, regional administrator for the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, said in a statement in March that “availability and deployment of observers is becoming increasingly challenging,” and that waiving the requirement to carry them was important to protect human health.