NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries is now accepting applications for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) - Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP). Pre-proposals are due by April 16 with full applications due by May 28, 2015.
The mission of the BREP is to develop technological solutions and investigate changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch of fish (including sponges, deep-sea corals, and shallow (tropical) corals) and protected species (including marine mammals, sturgeon, seabirds, and sea turtles) as well as minimize bycatch injury and mortality (including post-release injury and mortality).
Approximately $2,500,000 could be made available for projects that address by-catch research as identified below:
Developing innovative and effective technologies, gear modifications, and/or improved fishing practices in commercial and recreational fisheries to reduce bycatch impacts. Proposals that specifically reduce impacts to the following are encouraged:
a. Catch share fisheries [e.g. Northeast groundfish, Pacific halibut, Gulf of Mexico red snapper] - catch share programs are designed to improve the ecological and economic sustainability of fisheries by extending seasons, reducing market gluts, improving safety, and ensuring annual catch limits are not exceeded. In some programs, bycatch of some species is deducted from the allocations provided to individual fisher's limiting their ability to harvest other species. Proposals in this sub-priority should seek to facilitate full utilization of Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs) within a catch share program.
b. Protected species [e.g. sturgeon, sea turtles, salmonoids, marine mammals, alosids];
c. Highly migratory species [e.g. tuna, shark];
d. Fish stocks that are overfished, where overfishing is occurring, or are under prohibited species catch limits. [e.g. bigeye tuna, Pacific halibut, Atlantic cod (Gulf of Maine), red snapper, striped marlin];
e. Seabirds [e.g. black-footed or Laysan albatrosses]
Improved understanding and reduction of post-release and other indirect mortality, including barotrauma, predation, and unaccounted mortality in commercial and recreational fisheries including target and non-target species.
Determining the degree and nature of interactions, and developing techniques to reduce interactions, between fishing gears and corals, sponges, and other structure-forming invertebrates.
Conducting comprehensive international bycatch analyses or research which will inform conservation engineering in U.S. Fisheries.
For further information about BREP and how to apply, please visit the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/by_catch/bycatch_BREP.htm or view the attached Federal Funding Opportunity.
You can download the application package and apply directly at http://www.grants.gov.
The call for proposals can be found at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/by_catch/docs/brep_ffo_2015.pdf
Or contact: Derek Orner, National Bycatch Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.