Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and N. Pacific Fisheries Association chosen for grants 

By National Fish and Wildlife FoundationNFWF
WASHINGTON, April 30, 2013 –/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the third 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 fishing communities across the country. 

“In the first two rounds of the Fisheries Innovation Fund, we invested in innovative ideas to 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 expand these approaches to additional areas, and focus on promoting community-supported fisheries to sustain working waterfronts.”

“The Fisheries Innovation Fund supports novel techniques and solutions for improved fisheries management across the U.S., both recreational and commercial,” said Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “Many of the projects originate directly from commercial and sport fishermen to address fishing community challenges and opportunities. Our public-private partnership with the Foundation is the ideal solution to support fishermen’s initiatives. We congratulate the 2013 grant recipients, and look forward to working with them as they conduct their projects to support fisheries sustainability.”

The 15 grants for 2013 total $1.565 million, and will be matched by over $1.56 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 2013 Fisheries Innovation Fund grants, listed by region, are:

Mid-Atlantic: A New Take on Working Waterfront in Coastal North Carolina Grantee: Walking Fish Cooperative, Inc  Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $83,320; Matching Funds: $300,000; Total Project: $383,320 The Walking Fish Cooperative, Inc, in partnership with the Carteret County Harbor Authority, will develop and implement a sustainability plan that demonstrates a new approach to working waterfront development and preservation. The plan will include innovative mixed-use development and non-traditional revenue streams to maintain a working waterfront for a small-scale fishing community in Town Creek Harbor, Beaufort, North Carolina.

Development of e-Harvest Reporting for a Commercial Fishery (MD) Grantee: Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $103,963.76; Matching Funds: $100,000; Total Project: $203,963.76 The Maryland Department of Natural Resources(DNR) will develop an innovative electronic reporting system that links daily harvest reports with a hail system to improve data quality, accountability and enforceability of Maryland’s commercial striped bass fishery. Outcomes will include accurate and near real-time harvest data necessary for effective management, more efficient operations for Maryland DNR Fisheries Service, and improved economic efficiency and business models for harvesters.

Creating Community Supported Fisheries, Montauk, Long Island (NY) Grantee: Concerned Citizens of Montauk   Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $55,000; Matching Funds: $55,000; Total Project: $110,000 The Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) will establish a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) in Montauk, New York, the state’s largest commercial fishing port. CCOM will use its Creating CSFs application, a community capacity-building program, to strengthen the long-term viability of the Montauk fishing community by generating and fulfilling consumer demand for sustainable, traceable fisheries products, and incentivizing participating producers through elevated profits. CCOM will then develop a best-practices guide to creating CSFs.

Caribbean: US Virgin Islands Digital Deck Pilot Project Grantee: Ecotrust  Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $168,587.24; Matching Funds: $150,000; Total Project: $318,587.24Ecotrust will develop, test, and implement a prototype electronic trip ticket mobile application to support collaborative fishing efforts, better track and manage fisheries data, and provide information that can aid harvest management decisions. As a result, timelier and higher quality data will enable fisheries managers to more effectively monitor regulations, such as Annual Catch Limits, to better support sustainable fisheries in the Caribbean.

Gulf of Mexico: Gulf Wild Traceability and Data Collection in the Gulf Grantee: Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance   Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $150,000; Matching Funds: $165,000; Total Project: $315,000 The Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance will implement the Gulf Wild scalable traceability program to add value/market share to the commercial reef fish industry in the Gulf of Mexico. The project will identify tools for fishery and seafood data capture in the seafood supply chain, and will take place throughout the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Gulf of Mexico bordered by Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Regional Capacity Building of Electronic Monitoring in the Gulf Grantee: Mote Marine Laboratory Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $150,000; Matching Funds: $91,435; Total Project: $241,435 The Mote Marine Laboratory will establish an electronic monitoring (EM) center to advance the transition of EM to a regional capacity, and improve collection of accurate catch and release data from the commercial Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery. The center would be located at Mote Marine Lab in Florida, and address the importance of monitoring, standardization of methods, and increasing accuracy and consistency in collection and reporting of data for management. Data capture will occur throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

Pacific: Scaling ‘Local Catch Monterey Bay’ to Serve Neighboring Community Fishing Associations (CA) Grantee: Local Catch Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $100,000; Matching Funds: $3,000; Total Project: $103,000 The Local Catch Monterey Bay (LCMB) will create a strategy for scaling LCMB to support emerging community fishing associations, fishing cooperatives, and risk pools on the west coast by distributing their seafood to neighboring local communities. This project will develop a marketing and distribution plan, and sustainability metrics to monitor environmental, social, and economic benchmarks. The LCMB currently serves Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. This project will expand activities across the California central coast to serve neighboring harbors and city centers from San Francisco to Morro Bay.

Reduction of Rockfish Bycatch Mortality in Recreational Fisheries (CA) Grantee: M/V Outer Limits Inc. Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $73,245; Matching Funds: $72,841; Total Project: $146,086 The M/V Outer Limits Inc. will 1) evaluate different descending devices for releasing rockfishes suffering from barotrauma, and 2) monitor long-term survival and behavior of rockfishes released using these devices. The research conducted for this study will occur off the coast of San Diego, CA. Upon request, the data gathered will be provided for incorporation into management plans and stock assessments, and may have immediate impacts on improving groundfish management along the Pacific Coast.

Branding and Marketing, Next Steps in Sustainable Fisheries (CA) Grantee: Fort Bragg Groundfish Association Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $100,000; Matching Funds: $70,000; Total Project: $170,000 The Fort Bragg Groundfish Association will build a branding, promotional and traceability strategy to capitalize on compliance with sustainability measures in the Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) fishery. This project will focus on collaborative action among Fort Bragg fishermen, fishermen from nearby ports in the Central Coast Risk Pool, and non-government partners to launch an innovative strategy which will create the value necessary for a smaller scale fishing port to succeed in an ITQ management program.

North Pacific: Every Halibut Counts: Reducing Halibut Discard Mortality (AK) Grantee: Alaska Marine Conservation Council Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $55,000; Matching Funds: $56,232; Total Project: $111,232 The Alaska Marine Conservation Council will conduct a collaborative, industry-driven conservation initiative to reduce mortality of discarded halibut in the Alaska sport fishing sector by facilitating broad use of best practices for careful release. The project focus will be on top ports for recreational halibut harvest and discards in both southeast and southcentral Alaska stretching from Craig to Kodiak.

GPS Data Loggers as a Low-Cost Alternative to Vessel Monitoring Systems (AK)Grantee: Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $110,000; Matching Funds: $181,500; Total Project: $291,500 The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association will implement a two-stage field trial to fully evaluate and document the use of GPS data loggers as a low-cost alternative to Vessel Monitoring Systems in Alaska’s catch share halibut and sablefish fisheries. The project will be based in Sitka, Alaska with field testing conducted throughout Southeast Alaska.

Testing Electronic Monitoring on Small Fixed-Gear Cod Boats (AK) Grantee: North Pacific Fisheries Association Inc. Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $127,400; Matching Funds: $120,000; Total Project: $247,400 The North Pacific Fisheries Association Inc. will field test an improved electronic monitoring system on small fixed-gear boats (pot and hook-and-line) fishing for Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska. A comparison of costs of electronic monitoring to costs of observers in this fishery will be made. The project will be based in Homer, Alaska. Field tests will occur in the Gulf of Alaska, Western and Central Regulatory Areas.

Multiple Locations: iAngler – Angler Action Innovations for the Southern Atlantic and Gulf Regions Grantee: Snook Foundation, Inc. Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $80,000; Matching Funds: $120,000; Total Project: $200,000 The Snook Foundation, Inc. will implement a combination of technical and communications/messaging innovations to augment the number of recreational anglers skilled in recording fishing trip data in a standardized mobile application system, which will then be used to inform stock assessments. Outreach will target anglers throughout the Florida coast, for data collection on species found in the Southern Atlantic and Gulf states in inshore, coastal and offshore waters.

National Electronic Monitoring Workshop for U.S. Fisheries Grantee: Lowman and Associates Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $88,984; Matching Funds: $77,000; Total Project: $165,984 Lowman and Associates will convene a national workshop focused on electronic monitoring (EM) pilot studies in U.S.fisheries and EM tools and implementation strategies across regions, including emerging national guidance. The workshop and related website will facilitateinformation exchange across regions and help address outstanding challenges in implementing cost-effective monitoring systems. This national workshop will take place in Seattle, Washington. Participants and speakers will be invited from all fishery management regions of the U.S.

Developing NFWF Lending and Equity Financing Capability Grantee: Coastal Enterprises Inc. Fisheries Innovation Fund Award: $119,500; Total Project: $119,500 Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI) will explore approaches for developing a financing arm within the Fisheries Innovation Fund. CEI will develop procedures to: raise capital, identify and establish deals, create staff capacity to underwrite and service loans and investments, provide for monitoring to ensure collections, develop best accounting practices, and deal with delinquent loan accounts. The findings will apply to financing practices in areas of the U.S. where NFWF would offer a combination of grants and lending capital to support projects.

To learn more about the Fisheries Innovation Fund, visit

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