Successful applicants are awarded pounds of scallops that have been “set aside” to pay for research expenses; no federal funds are provided. Researchers and fishermen partner to harvest awarded scallops, and the proceeds are used to fund the research and compensate fishing industry partners.
The New England Fishery Management Council sets the research priorities, and NOAA Fisheries administers the competition, oversees awarded projects, and oversees set-aside harvest activities. The research set-aside programs are designed to inform resource management decisions and improve stock assessments. Proposals are evaluated for scientific merit and for relevance to scallop fishery management.