Skip to main content
Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program

The Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP) works to find creative solutions to fishery bycatch challenges.

NOAA Fisheries supports 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.

Funding for Innovative Bycatch Solutions

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of approximately $2.5 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 2021 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 to: 
    • Catch share fisheries
    • Protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act or the Endangered Species Act
    • Highly migratory species
    • Fish stocks that are overfished, where overfishing is occurring, or that are limiting the ability to harvest
    • Seabirds
  • 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.

Review previously funded projects: 




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.