Wednesday, February 17, 2016

$2.5 Million Available from NOAA for Bycatch Reduction Solutions

NOAA Fisheries' Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch. Our mission is to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.

$2.5 Million Available For Innovative Bycatch Solutions

NOAA Fisheries is now accepting applications for the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

Projects must address bycatch research priorities by:

Developing innovative and effective technologies, gear modifications, and/or improving fishing practices in commercial and recreational fisheries to reduce bycatch impacts. Proposals that specifically reduce impacts to catch share fisheries, protected species (those species listed as part of the NOAA "Species in the Spotlight" campaign), highly migratory species, fish stocks that are overfished, where overfishing is occurring, or are under prohibited species catch limits, or seabirds are particularly encouraged.

Improving 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.

Pre-proposals are due by March 1 with full applications due by April 15, 2016.

For more information, download the call for proposals or contact Derek Orner, National Bycatch Coordinator.

$2.5 Million Awarded for Innovative Bycatch Solutions

NOAA Fisheries' has awarded BREP grants to 16 projects designed to reduce bycatch in our nation's marine fisheries. Approximately $2.5 million was available to fishermen, academics, and other interested groups for projects that offered practical engineering and technological solutions to reduce bycatch.

This year, we were seeking ideas that addressed one or more of these focus areas:

Technological Innovation – Developing effective technologies, gear modifications, and improved fishing practices in recreational and commercial fisheries to reduce bycatch impacts.

Release or Discard Mortality – Understanding and reducing post-release mortality in recreational and commercial fisheries.

Fishing Gear and Corals – Understanding the amount and severity of interactions, and ways to reduce harmful interactions, between fishing gears and corals, sponges, and other structure-forming invertebrates.

International Best Practices – Informing conservation engineering in U.S. fisheries through analyses or research of international bycatch practices.

Past BREP-funded projects have:

Supported development of a new circle hook that reduced bluefin tuna bycatch by 56 percent.

Tested the use of strategically placed LED lights on trawl nets. This simple, but creative solution reduced bycatch of Columbia River smelt in the pink shrimp trawl fishery by 90 percent.

For more information contact Derek Orner, National Bycatch Coordinator.

2013 Report to Congress

The 2013 BREP Report to Congress highlights outcomes and management applications of projects funded with $2.44 million in FY 2012 in four priority areas: reducing protected species bycatch, reducing post-release mortality, improving fishing practices, and developing innovative technologies. Download the report, or read more about how these innovative projects are helping find ways to reduce bycatch.