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

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of approximately $2.4 million for projects that increase collaborative research and partnerships for innovation in bycatch reduction. Proposals should focus on the high-priority areas below. 

High-priority areas for Fiscal Year 2018 projects include:

  • Developing innovative and effective technologies; gear modifications; avoidance programs and techniques; and/or improved fishing practices in commercial and recreational fisheries and aquaculture to reduce bycatch impacts. 
  • Improving understanding and reduction of post-release and other indirect mortality, including barotrauma, predation, and unaccounted mortality in commercial and recreational fisheries and aquaculture. This includes target and non-target species of fish or protected species. Proposals addressing this priority may be projects that specifically test descending devices or identify high-priority release and discard mortality needs and provide baseline information 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. Proposals that specifically reduce impacts to essential fish habitats, deep-sea coral sites, and endangered tropical corals.
  • Conducting comprehensive international bycatch analyses or research that will inform conservation engineering in U.S. commercial, recreational, and aquaculture fisheries.

The 2018 federal funding opportunity is now open. Please submit pre-proposals by January 31, 2018. Full proposals are due March 30, 2018.

Review previously funded projects: 

Fiscal Year 2017
Fiscal Year 2016
Fiscal Year 2015

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, 2015

This report highlights outcomes of projects funded through the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program in Fiscal Year 2015.



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 solution

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on June 18, 2018