NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service is accepting proposals for the Mid-Atlantic Research Set-Aside Program (RSA) research activities concerning summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, Loligo squid, Illex squid, Atlantic mackerel, butterfish, Atlantic bluefish, and tilefish fisheries.
The goals of the RSA programs are to further the understanding of the nation’s fisheries, enhance information used in fisheries management decision-making, and foster collaborations among marine fisheries interests. Deadline for proposals is March 24, 2008.
“This program provides opportunities for fishermen and scientists to work together and conduct research on fish species that are managed through the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council,” said Earl Meredith, Cooperative Research Program coordinator for NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass. “Several hundred fishermen and their crews have participated in research projects totaling more than $2.8 million in actual research and more than $6 million in compensation fishing since the program began in 2000.”
For the fishing year 2009 (January 1-December 31, 2009), the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council may set aside up to three percent of the total allowable landings in certain Mid-Atlantic fisheries to be used for research purposes under the RSA program, which provides a mechanism to fund research and compensate vessel owners through the sale of fish harvested under the research quota.
Vessels participating in an approved research project may be authorized by the NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Regional Administrator to harvest and land fish in excess of any imposed trip limit or during fishery closures. Landings from such trips are sold to generate funds that help defray the costs associated with the approved research projects. No Federal funds are provided for research; the industry lands fish as the funding source.
Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, hospitals, other nonprofit organizations, commercial organizations, individuals, and state, local, and Native American tribal governments. Applications are also encouraged from historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in underserved areas. NOAA encourages applications from members of the fishing community and applications that involve fishing community cooperation and participation.
Past RSA projects include collecting abundance and distribution information, biology of large monkfish, studies on escape vents for discard reduction in the black sea bass pot/trap fishery, developing a new and improved dredge for sea scallops, Loligo squid gear modifications, and a tagging study for monkfish.
The full Federal funding announcement for this RSA program can be viewed through the NOAA Grants On-line website at http://www.grants.gov/, under Funding Opportunity Number NMFS-NEFSC-2009-2001252.
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