CFRF Offers Mid-Atlantic Fishermen Bycatch Avoidance Gear Modification Vouchers

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation is currently administering a voucher program for fishing vessel owners to obtain financial assistance to install one or both promising gear modifications onboard their vessels for use in small mesh fisheries (including squid, whiting, and scup) to avoid unwanted bycatch of winter flounder.  The two gear types are the 12” drop chain and the large mesh belly panel.  The program is currently being expanded to include fishing vessels based in the Mid-Atlantic area (New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia) who have fished in Statistical Areas #537, #538, #539, #611, #613 during the time period of January 2010 to present.  The voucher amounts are as follows:

  • Large Mesh Belly Panel – for all size fishing vessels = $400
  • Drop Chain:
  • Smaller fishing vessel category (< 500 HP) = $450
  • Larger fishing vessel category (>500 HP) = $800 

Vouchers are available for an additional 15 fishing vessels to participate and will be issued on a first come first serve basis.

Deadline for applying is Thursday, February 28, 2013.

For more information and to apply please visit the Gear Trials Program website at

CONTACT: Jane Dickinson, Administrative Assistant, Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation, P.O. Box 364, Saunderstown, RI 02874; Phone: (401) 515-4892; Fax #: (401) 515-3537; E-Mail: