The Bluefin Tuna Research Program provides financial assistance for projects which seek to increase and improve the working relationship between fisheries researchers from NOAA Fisheries, state fishery agencies, universities, and other research institutions, and U.S. fishery interests (recreational and commercial) focusing on northern bluefin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean.
The program is a means of advancing research objectives to address the information needs to improve the science-based fisheries management for Atlantic bluefin tuna. This program addresses NOAA's mission goal to "Protect, Restore, and Manage the Use of Coastal and Ocean Resources through an Ecosystem Approach to Management."
The objective of the program is to provide a basis for advancing science-based fisheries management for Atlantic bluefin tuna. Such advancement will depend upon improvements in understanding fisheries harvesting and the biology of bluefin tuna, especially regarding the effects of mixing and movement between the eastern and western Atlantic stocks on monitoring stock abundance.
Contracting parties to the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, of which the United States is one, and other partners have embarked upon a $25 million research program on bluefin tuna. It is expected to span six years as a step toward improving ICCAT's science-based management approach for fisheries affecting bluefin. Research sponsored under this funding opportunity represents a contribution to this partnership.
Research priorities for this funding opportunity include:
1. Representative sampling of hard and soft tissues and associated analytical techniques for studies of population genetics, stock composition, age composition, growth and total reproductive contribution by size and age.
2. Large-scale conventional, electronic and genetic tagging experiments specifically designed to estimate movement rates, abundance, and mortality of the eastern or western stocks.
3. Historical data (both paper copies or archived biological material) mining to sharpen estimates of catch, catch composition, fishing effort, and spatial aspects of catch.
4. Simulation modeling to evaluate the performance of assessment models and management strategies in light of uncertainties related to stock mixing, reproductive potential and other life-history traits.
5. Improving the quality of fishery data for stock assessments (e.g., using advanced technology to obtain representative data on catch per unit effort, size composition, etc…).
6. Developing novel fishery-independent techniques to estimate abundance or mortality (e.g., using advanced technology or enhancing coverage through effective multi-institution partnerships).
7. Integration of satellite remote sensing, oceanographic modeling and other multidisciplinary scientific products to consider environmental effects upon biology (recruitment, mortality, movement, etc), fishery operations or to resolve the uncertainties in current and historical recruitment.
Who Can Apply?
A. Eligible Applicants
Eligible applicants may be institutions of higher education, nonprofits, commercial organizations, individuals, and state, local, and Indian tribal governments. Federal agencies or institutions are not eligible. Foreign governments, organizations under the jurisdiction of foreign governments, and international organizations are excluded for purposes of this solicitation since the objective of the program is to optimize research and development benefits from U.S. marine fishery resources.
B. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement
Cost-sharing is not required for this program.
C. Other Criteria that Affect Eligibility
All applicants must include a written agreement with a person employed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), who will act as a partner in the proposed research project. This written agreement must be signed by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) Director or a designee.
How to Apply
A. Address to Request Application Package
The standard application package is available at http://www.grants.gov. If you do not have internet access, an application package may be received by contacting Dax Ruiz,
Federal Grants Program Manager, NOAA/NMFS/SERO; 263 13th Avenue, South, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701, Phone: (727) 824-5324, e-mail: Dax.Ruiz@noaa.gov.
B. Content and Form of Application
1. Format Requirements:
All pages must be single-spaced and should be composed in at least a 12-point font with one-inch margins on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. The project description may not exceed 6 pages, exclusive
of title page, project synopsis, literature cited, budget information, resumes of investigator, and letters of support (if any). Failure to follow the requirements will result in the rejection of the application and subsequent return.
Any PDF or other attachments that are included in an electronic application must meet the above format requirement when printed out.
2. Content Requirements:
The following information must be included. Failure to submit it will result in an application
not being reviewed.
a. Signed Title Page: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) must be signed by the authorized representative. Electronic signatures submitted through grants.gov satisfy this requirement.
b. Project Synopsis (1-page limit): It is critical that the project synopsis accurately describes the project being proposed and conveys all essential elements of the activities. It is imperative that potential applicants tie their proposals to one of the program priorities described in Section I.B. The Project Synopsis must identify the principal investigator(s) and a brief statement of qualifications.
c. Project Description (6-page limit): The applicant should describe and justify the project being proposed and address each of the evaluation criteria as described below in Section V. Project descriptions should include clear objectives and specific approaches to achieving those objectives, including methods, timelines, and expected outcomes.
d. Proposals submitted in response to this Announcement must include a Data Management Plan (up to 2 pages). See Section VI.B., Administrative and National Policy Requirements, below for additional information on what the plan should contain.
e. Literature Cited: If applicable.
f. Budget and Budget Justification: All applications must have a detailed budget narrative explaining and justifying the Federal and non-Federal expenditures as listed on the SF-424A budget forms. Refer to NOAA Grants Management Division’s Budget Narrative Guidance at
https://www.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/document/2019/Jun/gmd_budget_narrative_g uidance_-_05-24-2017_final.pdf. Provide justifications for all budget items in sufficient detail to enable the reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of the funding requested.
g. Resumes (2 pages maximum for each major participant).
h. Standard Application Forms: Assurances, Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B); and Certifications Regarding Lobbying (CD-511). These forms are available on Grants.gov. Please refer to the appropriate application package available through www.grants.gov. If you
do not have internet access, an application package may be received by contacting Dax Ruiz, Federal Grants Program Manager, NOAA/NMFS/SERO; 263 13th Avenue, South, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701, Phone: (727) 824-5324, e-mail: Dax.Ruiz@noaa.gov.
i. NOAA NEPA Questionnaire (https://www.nepa.noaa.gov/docs/NOAA-Grants Questionnaire-final.pdf). Applicants must respond to Questions 1-19 and 20-37, the latter of which are specific to NMFS project submissions. Note: It is strongly recommended that applicants complete this questionnaire when initially submitting a full proposal application. A completed NOAA NEPA Questionnaire should be uploaded as its own file and not included in any other attachment.
j. Applications must identify the principal participants, and include copies of any agreements describing the specific tasks to be performed by participants. Project applications should give a clear presentation of the proposed work, the methods for carrying out the project, its relevance to managing and enhancing the use of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna fishery resources, and cost estimates as they relate to specific aspects of the project. Budgets must include a
detailed breakdown, by category of expenditures, with appropriate justification for both the Federal and non-Federal shares.
k. Applications should exhibit familiarity with related work that is completed or ongoing. Successful applicants are required to collect and manage data in accordance with
standardized procedures and format approved or specified by NMFS and to participate with NMFS in specific cooperative activities that are determined by consultations between NMFS and successful applicants before project grants are awarded. All data collected as part of an awarded grant must be provided to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
C. Each applicant (unless the applicant is an individual or Federal awarding agency that is excepted from those requirements under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR 25.110(d)) is required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) Provide a valid unique entity identifier (UEI) in its application; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. NOAA may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable UEI and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time NOAA is ready to make a Federal award, NOAA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.
D. Submission Dates and TimesApplications must be received by www.grants.gov, postmarked, or provided to a delivery service by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on September 29, 2023. Note: It may take www.grants.gov up to two (2) business days to validate or reject an application. Please keep this in mind when developing your submission timeline. Use of U.S. mail or another delivery service must be documented with a receipt. Applications received later than five calendar days following the closing date will not be accepted. No facsimile or electronic mail applications will be accepted. See Section IV F. Other Submission Requirements for complete mailing information.
When to Apply
Applications postmarked or provided to a delivery service after 5:00 pm n September 29, 2023, will not be considered for funding. Applications submitted via the U.S. Postal Service must have an official postmark; private metered postmarks are not acceptable. In any event, applications received later than 5 calendar days following the closing date will not be accepted. No facsimile or electronic mail applications will be accepted.