NOAA Fisheries: $2.5 Million Available for Innovative Bycatch Solutions

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 March 1 with full applications due by April 15, 2016.

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).

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.

For further information about BREP and how to apply, please visit the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program website.

You can download the application package and apply directly. 

Questions? Contact Derek Orner, National Bycatch Program Coordinator,