Research Set-Aside Programs

Unique to the New England/Greater Atlantic region, Research Set-Aside Programs have a demonstrated track record for supporting applied research that informs fishery management decisions and improves stock assessments.

man holding tagged goosefish on boat

Research Set-Aside (RSA) programs are unique to federal fisheries in the Greater Atlantic Region. No Federal funds are provided to support the research. Instead, research funds are generated through the sale of set-aside allocations for quota managed or days-at-sea (DAS) managed fisheries. There are active RSA programs established under the Atlantic Sea Scallop, Atlantic Herring, and Monkfish Fishery Management Plans.

The New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (Councils) set aside quota or DAS, which is awarded through a competitive grant process managed by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Money generated by the sale of the awarded RSA quota or DAS fund the proposed research.

RSA projects are selected through a competitive grants process, with priorities established by the Councils. Solicitations for RSA proposals are posted at, and distributed widely through Councils' and other NOAA Fisheries public relations channels.

RSA Programs have a demonstrated track record for supporting applied research to inform fishery management decisions and improve stock assessments. Visit our searchable project feature to learn more about research supported through the RSA Program.

Frequently asked questions about Research Set-Aside Programs »

Current Research Focus

Atlantic Herring

We are interested in research to:

  • Reduce bycatch of river herring.
  • Develop portside sampling to better characterize catch.
  • Explore ways to passively monitor net performance for a variety of purposes.
  • Investigate video monitoring to document fishing and catch processing.

Sea Scallop

We support research into the following topics:

  • Industry-based surveys of access areas.
  • Bycatch reduction.
  • Loggerhead sea turtle population information and bycatch avoidance.


We are interested in research that explores:

  • Life history.
  • Stock definition.
  • Ecological significance.
  • Bycatch and discard.
  • Trawl and gillnet gear technologies to improve selectivity and reduce discard.


Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on September 09, 2020