2018 Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program Awards

August 15, 2018

More than $2.3 million will go to partners to support innovative bycatch reduction research projects.

first ever loggerhead turtle tagged

NOAA Fisheries has awarded more than $2.3 million to partners around the country to support innovative bycatch reduction research projects through its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program. Bycatch of various species--fish, marine mammals, or turtles--can have significant biological, economic, and social impacts. Preventing and reducing bycatch is a shared goal of fisheries managers, the fishing industry, and the environmental community.

Working side-by-side with fishermen on their boats we've developed solutions to some of the top bycatch challenges facing our nation's fisheries.

Ongoing regional projects include:

  • Creating a bycatch avoidance tool for cod in the Gulf of Maine recreational fishery.
  • Use of LEDs to reduce Pacific halibut catch in groundfish trawls.
  • A community tagging program aimed at reducing mortality to sharks found near fish aggregating devices in Hawaii.

2018 Recipients Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program

 

Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association

  • Project: Adapting towed array hydrophones to reduce interactions between sperm whales and longline gear in Alaska.

Duke University

  • Project: Testing the applicability of sensory-based bycatch reduction technologies to reduce sea turtle bycatch in North Carolina coastal gillnet and pound net fisheries.

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

  • Project: Creating a bycatch avoidance tool for cod in the Gulf of Maine recreational fishery.

Mote Marine Laboratory

  • Project: Best fishing practices for the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery: developing bycatch reduction techniques through refined modeling of electronic monitoring data.

New England Aquarium

  • Project: Implementation of emerging technology to estimate and mitigate the post-release mortality rate of prohibited sandbar sharks in a rapidly growing shore-based fishery.
  • Project: Testing a ropeless fishing prototype for eliminating large whale entanglements in pot fishing gear.

Newcastle University

  • Project: Low-cost solutions to cetacean bycatch in gillnet fisheries.

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

  • Project: Use of LEDs to reduce Pacific halibut catches before trawl entrainment.
  • Project: Identifying the optimal level of artificial illumination necessary to achieve maximum chinook salmon escapement rates out a bycatch reduction device integrated into a Pacific hake mid-water trawl.

Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research

  • Project: Documenting post-release survival and depth distribution of bigeye thresher sharks caught using Linked Buoy Gear.

South Carolina Wildlife Federation

  • Project: Changing recreational fishing practices through outreach to decrease post-release mortality of South Atlantic deep water species.

University of Hawaii

  • Project: A community tagging program aimed at reducing mortality to sharks found in association with fish aggregating devices in Hawaii.
  • Project: Illuminating the shark bycatch post-release mortality black box.

Wild Fish Conservancy

  • Project: Evaluation of Pound Nets for Stock-Selective Harvest in Lower Columbia River Spring Chinook, Summer Chinook and Shad Fisheries.

Read the 2018 grantees' abstracts.