Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program

NOAA Fisheries is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program! We support the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch. Our mission is to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.

10 Years of Bycatch Solutions


BREP By the Numbers graphic


Funding for Innovative Bycatch Solutions

High-priority areas for 2017 projects include:

  • Developing innovative and effective technologies, gear modifications, avoidance programs, and/or improved fishing practices in commercial and recreational fisheries to reduce bycatch impacts.

  • Improved understanding and reduction of post-release and other indirect mortality, including barotrauma, predation, and unaccounted mortality associated with commercial and recreational fisheries including target and non-target species. Proposals addressing this priority may, but are not limited to, projects that specifically test descending devices to increase functionality and ease of use, as well as proposals that identify high priority release and discard mortality needs and provide baseline information (e.g., depth of capture, effects of air exposure, gear type, temperature) for important discarded species (in particular, but not limited to red snapper, Atlantic cod, striped marlin, etc.).

  • Developing techniques to reduce interactions, between fishing gears and corals, sponges, and other structure-forming invertebrates. 

  • Conducting comprehensive international bycatch analyses or research which will inform conservation engineering in U.S. fisheries.

For more information, contact Erin Wilkinson, National Bycatch Coordinator.


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



Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

The Magnuson-Stevens Act is the primary law governing marine fisheries management in U.S. federal waters. 


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 investigates technological and engineering solutions to redu

U.S. Fisheries Management: Sustainable Fisheries, Sustainable Seafood