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2021 Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program Awards

September 09, 2021

NOAA Fisheries announces $2.2 million in funding for 12 innovative bycatch reduction research projects.

Large black and white sea turtle swims in the blue ocean with yellow and black striped fish One of the funded projects will include innovative technology to understand the impacts of fisheries gear entanglement on endangered leatherback sea turtles. Credit: Jason Isley/Scubazoo.

NOAA Fisheries has awarded $2.2 million to partners around the country to support 12 innovative bycatch reduction research projects through its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

Bycatch is catch that fishermen do not want, cannot sell, or are not allowed to keep. 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.

Examples of past regional projects include:

  • An enhanced communication network and real-time maps to allow longfin squid fishermen in the Northeast to avoid butterfish “hot spots” and reduce bycatch by more than 65 percent
  • Using LED lights on the West Coast to reduce bycatch of endangered eulachon in the ocean shrimp trawl fishery by up to 91 percent

Read brief descriptions of the selected projects

2021 Recipients by Region


  • LobsterLift LLC: $185,590
  • Sea Mammal Education Learning Technology Society: $246,458
  • Delaware State University: $233,676
  • New England Aquarium Corporation: $191,897
  • New England Aquarium Corporation: $208,234


  • Mote Marine Laboratory: $188,995

West Coast

  • Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission: $157,897
  • Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission: $245,797
  • Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research: $188,416 


  • International Pacific Halibut Commission: $99,700

Pacific Islands

  • International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, Inc: $168,962
  • Eric Gilman, LLC: $53,200