Contact: Teri Frady
Competition for 2019-2020 Sea Scallop Research Opens
Deadline for Proposals 5 PM EDT October 1, 2018
Competition for sea scallop research support is now open under a program unique to Northeast fishery management--the Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program. Proposals are due by 5 PM EDT October 1, 2018.
High priorities for this year are projects that focus on resource surveys conducted from sea scallop fishing vessels, and work to better understand variability in dredge gear performance during both fishing and resource survey operations. The competition is also open to proposals that address the effects of offshore energy development on the stock, fishery bycatch reduction, sea turtle research, factors affecting sea scallop meat quality, and factors affecting sea scallop biology and stock productivity.
Sea scallops support one of the most valuable commercial fisheries off the Northeastern U.S., second only to American lobster. In 2016, sea scallops accounted for about $431 million in landings revenue, around 27% of the nearly $1.6 billion in total commercial fishery landing revenue for the year.
Sea Scallop Sales Pay for Research
No federal funds are provided to support the research set-aside projects. Sucessful proposals are awarded pounds of sea scallops that have been “set aside” from projected landings for this purpose. In each project fishermen and researchers partner to execute the work, and the scallops awarded for the project are harvested to fund it.
The New England Fishery Management Council sets priorities for the program, and NOAA Fisheries administers the competition and oversees awarded projects. Proposals are reviewed for scientific merit by individual reviewers and for responsiveness to fishery management priorities by a management panel. Successful proposals typically have strong recommendations in both areas.
NOAA Fisheries and the New England Fishery Management Council have managed the Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside program since 2000. During that time, more than 150 projects have been funded by sea scallop landings with an estimated value of just under $140 million. There are also active research set-aside programs for Atlantic herring and monkfish. The research set-aside programs support applied research that responds to priorities established by the fishery management councils, and are designed to inform resource management decisions and improve stock assessments.
For more information on the 2019-2020 Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program announcement and proposal requirements, contact Cheryl Corbett.