The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the second round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to support sustainable fisheries in the U.S. With the goal of sustaining fishermen while rebuilding fish stocks, the new grants will aid the design and implementation of projects that provide technical and practical support for working fishing communities across the country.
“In the first round of the Fisheries Innovation Fund, we invested in innovative ideas that will help communities maximize limited fisheries resources, minimize bycatch and explore new monitoring technologies,” explained Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “With our new grants, we will share approaches that have proven successful with a wider audience, and support local efforts to secure fishing opportunities for the future.”
“The Fisheries Innovation Fund promotes creative ideas and solutions for better fisheries management around the country,” said Sam Rauch, Acting Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “Many of the projects originate directly from fishermen and address local challenges and opportunities at the community level. We look forward to working with the individuals and organizations who receive the 2012 grants as they develop and share their projects to support the sustainability of U.S. fisheries.”
The 18 grants for 2012 total $1.55 million, and will be matched by over $1.2 million from the grantees. NFWF’s Fisheries Innovation Fund is supported by NOAA, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
The 2012 Fisheries Innovation Fund grants, listed by region, are:
Designing Fisheries Licensing for Community Resilience (ME)
Grantee: Penobscot East Resource Center, Inc.
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $31,977; Matching Funds: $48,072; Total Project: $80,069
In cooperation with Maine Sea Grant, this project will develop a viable licensing model for inter-generational and entry level access to diversified community fishing, and support sustainable small-scale fisheries.
Realizing Eco-Efficiency in the Seafood Industry (ME, NH, MA)
Grantee: Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $50,000; Matching Funds: $29,732; Total Project: $79,732
In cooperation with New England Trawlers, Inc. and North Atlantic Seafood, Inc., the project will improve the efficiency associated with bringing groundfish to market in the Northeast region through innovation in the seafood supply chain.
MCFA Gulf of Maine Cod Risk Pool (ME)
Grantee: Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $110,000; Matching Funds: $75,000; Total Project: $185,000
Fishermen will face a significant cut to their Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod allocation for 2012. This project will develop a GOM Cod Risk Pool that will help fishermen stay within bycatch limits while accessing healthy stocks.
Best practices in Fisheries Trust Management (MA)
Grantee: Community Development Partnership
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $124,978.14; Matching Funds: $200,000; Total Project: $324,978.14
The project will develop a scalable model to transfer best practices and lessons learned in fishery trust management to national audiences, and to communities seeking to sustain local fishing businesses and economic growth.
New England Fishing Quota Investment Fund(s) (ME, RI, MA)
Grantee: CLF Ventures, Inc.
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $80,000; Matching Funds: $77,500; Total Project: $157,500
This project will investigate innovative financing approaches focused on a Triple-Bottom-Line (economic, ecological, and social) performance standard for fisheries. It will address the needs of investors and facilitate accelerated acquisition of permits by community fishermen across the New England region.
Electronic Logbooks in a New England Groundfish Sector (ME)
Grantee: Sustainable Harvest Sector
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $20,000; Matching Funds: $5,000; Total Project: $25,000
The project will design and install software on vessels to report catch information electronically to the National Marine Fisheries Service and sector managers. Data will be integrated with shoreside catch monitoring systems and transferrable to other fisheries.
Simplifying New England Groundfish Sector reporting (MA)
Grantee: Northeast Sector Service Network Inc.
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $110,000; Matching Funds: $20,000; Total Project: $130,000
This project will test and refine the Fishtrax Onboard module, a multifaceted reporting tool designed to simplify and satisfy the data requirements of New England Groundfish Sectors.
Bycatch Avoidance Network for River Herring/Butterfish (NY)
Grantee: Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Suffolk County
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $100,000; Matching Funds: $50,000; Total Project: $150,000
The project will initiate a fleet communication system to report and share real-time observations of river herring/shad and butterfish bycatch hotspots to reduce fleet-wide bycatch.
Gulf of Mexico:
Fishery Science & Management Education for Gulf Fishermen
Grantee: Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $125,000; Matching Funds: $50,000; Total Project: $175,000
The project will develop and implement a Fishery Science & Management Education Program for commercial and recreational fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico. Modeled after the highly successful New England Marine Resource Education Program, it will involve the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, Gulf Fishermen’s Association, and individual Gulf of Mexico fishermen who graduated from the New England MREP to improve the capacity of Gulf fishermen to engage in sustainable management.
Creating a Bycatch/Species Sharing Model for Louisiana Fishers (LA)
Grantee: Southern Mutual Help Association, Inc.
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $75,000; Matching Funds: $30,000; Total Project: $105,000
The project will conduct research, create peer-learning and technical assistance opportunities, and design model bycatch and species-sharing policy and processes among Louisiana’s traditional family fishers.
Develop Video Monitoring for Full Retention Fisheries (WA, OR)
Grantee: Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $100,000; Matching Funds: $30,000; Total Project: $130,000
This project will develop a video-based catch monitoring system and computer-aided video review software. By reducing the number of human observers and reviewers involved in the monitoring of full-retention fisheries, it will lower the cost of observer programs.
Development and Evaluation of Image Recognition Software (CA)
Grantee: Fishermen’s Marketing Association, Inc.
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $96,178; Matching Funds: $50,000; Total Project: $146,178
This project will develop and evaluate image recognition software that can be used to screen video images collected onboard commercial fishing boats. It will track discard activities and identify the species of fish being discarded.
Shorebased Whiting Overfished Species Risk Pool Cooperative (WA, OR, CA)
Grantee: Shorebased Whiting Cooperative
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $75,000; Matching Funds: $105,000; Total Project: $180,000
The project will provide a Pacific whiting cooperative with the technical support infrastructure to manage rockfish bycatch, using real time, historic observer and electronic data to assist with hotspot avoidance.
Fishing Community Sustainability Planning and Development (CA)
Grantee: City of Morro Bay
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $135,000; Matching Funds: $125,000; Total Project: $260,000
This project will develop a strategic plan for Morro Bay and Monterey fisheries aimed at building economic, social and environmental sustainability, and community fishing association capacity.
Securing Community Opportunity in Kodiak’s Jig Fishery (AK)
Grantee: Alaska Marine Conservation Council
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $90,000; Matching Funds: $126,460; Total Project: $216,460
Through governance support, quality enhancement and market innovations, this project will assist the fishing community of Kodiak in securing entry-level opportunity in the jig fishery.
Electronic Monitoring for Small Boats in Alaska—Next Steps
Grantee: North Pacific Fisheries Association Inc.
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $65,568; Matching Funds: $50,000; Total Project: $115,568
This project will field-test new electronic monitoring hardware and software in the small boat halibut fishery in Alaska. Software will include event-flagging and species identification to facilitate data review.
Stakeholder-centered Management of Lake Erie Yellow Perch (MI)
Grantee: Michigan State University
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $73,432; Matching Funds: $24,584; Total Project: $98,016
A stakeholder-centered working group will use Management Strategy Evaluation techniques to develop harvest policies for Lake Erie yellow perch fisheries. Stakeholders will work with managers and scientists in using models to determine the policies that work best for both the fishing community and the resource.
Community Fisheries Network Capacity Building and Expansion
Grantee: Island Institute
Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $84,000; Matching Funds: $110,000; Total Project: $194,000
This project will expand the Community Fisheries Network by building organizational and business capacity in additional ports and regions, disseminating innovations that will improve the long-term sustainability of fishing communities and fisheries businesses.