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Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program

The Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP) provides funding to those looking for creative solutions to fishery bycatch challenges.

2024 Funding Opportunity Open

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of about $2.3 million for collaborative bycatch reduction projects. We invite non-federal researchers working on the development of improved fishing practices and innovative gear technologies that reduce bycatch to apply and encourages
applicants to include and demonstrate principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
We’re looking for proactive, meaningful, and equitable community engagement in the identification, design, and/or implementation of proposed projects.

2024 Grant Application

NOAA Fisheries has awarded $2.5 million to partners around the country to support 14 innovative bycatch reduction research projects through its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

2023 Funded Projects

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:

  • Researchers on the West Coast showed that a dual sorting, flexible grid system called Flexigrid reduces under-sized sablefish bycatch by more than 45%. It does this while maintaining catch of adult sablefish and other target fish species.
  • In the Southeast, use of larger circle hooks is reducing bycatch of under-sized red grouper by more than 70 percent. Smaller circle hooks are providing greater selectivity at catching red snapper.

2023 Recipients by Region


  • Sea Mammal Education Learning Technology Society (SMELTS): $248,087
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Inc.: $187,042
  • Blue Planet Strategies LLC: $171,003
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute: $199,668
  • George Mason University: $201,988

Southeast/Gulf of Mexico

  • Louisiana State University: $180,540

West Coast

  • Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission: $179,873
  • Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research: $228,876
  • Wild Fish Conservancy: $199,500


  • University of Washington: $221,309
  • International Pacific Halibut Commission: $199,870

Pacific Islands

  • Eric Gilman LLC: $78,700
  • The Carl Safina Center, Inc.: $79,599
  • University of California, San Diego: $139,659

Priority Research Areas for Fiscal Year 2023 

  • Researching new technology
  • Encouraging technology adoption
  • Reducing post-release mortality
  • Avoiding habitat interactions
  • Conducting international research

Previously Funded Projects



Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

This version is the Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act that was reauthorized in 2007. It does not reflect any amendments…



Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program Annual Report to Congress, 2015

NOAA Fisheries has long been committed to reducing bycatch. TheBycatch Reduction Engineering Program supports technological solutions and…


Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program Annual Report to Congress, 2013

This report highlights outcomes and management applications of projects funded through the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP) in FY 2012.


Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program Annual Report to Congress, 2014

In support of our mission to sustainably manage the nation’s fisheries, NOAA Fisheries has been investing in technological and engineering…

Understanding Bycatch

Fishing operations sometimes result in “bycatch” of non-target species. Learn how NOAA Fisheries is working with partners to reduce bycatch.

Shark in green net on boat