NOAA awards WWF grant


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 1, 2009

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service on Tuesday announced it awarded the World Wildlife Fund a USD 364,000 (EUR 250,000) grant. The money will support the 2009 Smart Gear Competition, which awards prizes for innovative gear designs that reduce fisheries bycatch.

“The Smart Gear Competition is a model for cross-sector collaboration among government, conservation organizations, industry groups, fishermen and the scientific community,” said James Balsiger, NOAA acting assistant administrator for fisheries. “All parts involved are working together to find solutions.”

The two-year grant will support the competition, plus extensive testing to further develop the winning designs. Launched in 2004, the competition has received entries from fishermen, chemists, engineers and inventors in previous years, resulting in hundreds of proposals from dozens of countries.

WWF plans to award four prizes for the most promising technological developments: one grand prize of USD 30,000 (EUR 20,960); two runner-up prizes of USD 10,000 (EUR 7,000); and one special East African regional prize of USD 7,500 (EUR 5,200). Contest entries are due 30 June.

Previous Smart Gear Competitions have resulted in gear that minimizes bycatch of cod and flounder in the Northeast, juvenile red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, and seabird and harbor porpoise in fisheries worldwide.

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