NOAA looking to fund projects to reduce bycatch

Published on
December 28, 2021
NOAA Fisheries is accepting pre-proposals to fund projects designed to reduce bycatch.

Through 20 January, 2022, NOAA Fisheries is accepting pre-proposals to fund projects designed to reduce bycatch.

In an announcement made on Wednesday, 15 December, the agency said about USD 2.4 million (EUR 2.1 million) is expected to be available for the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP). The program looks to support new technologies or fishing practices that will minimize the amount of protected and endangered species that are caught.

Among the program’s priorities for this cycle include ways to encourage adoption of new technology and avoid contact with habitats. Federal officials are also interested in funding programs that promote international research, and they may also look at projects that study post-release mortality.

“Projects should produce outcomes that can directly influence management needs of federally managed living marine resources,” a description of the funding program on Grants.gov said.

Previous projects receiving BREP funding include improvements to a communication network for longfin squid fishermen to help them steer clear of key butterfish areas, which reduced bycatch by more than 65 percent. An initiative used LED lights on ocean shrimp trawlers in West Coast fisheries cut eulachon bycatch by 91 percent.

NOAA Fisheries expects to issue up to 15 grants for the 2022 fiscal year, with awards ranging from USD 50,000 (EUR 44,342) to USD 250,000 (EUR 221,713). In September 2021, the agency announced a dozen projects received a total of USD 2.2 million (EUR 2 million) for the 2021 fiscal year cycle.

Applicants can include U.S. citizens, commercial groups, public or private colleges, municipal or state governments, Native American tribal governments, nonprofit groups, and foreign organizations.

A pre-proposal submission is required. According to the announcement, pre-proposals will be evaluated to determine whether projects from interested parties meet technical specifications and relevancy. Full proposals must be submitted by 4 April, 2022.

Photo courtesy of Postmodern Studio/Shutterstock

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