Alaska Sea Grant will provide $1 million during the next two years to support marine research that includes projects to assess the potential impact of the growing sea otter population in Southeast; develop better pollock fishery management models; and determine the genetic stock structure of red and blue king crab.
Alaska Sea Grant is a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that conducts marine research, education, communication, and Marine Advisory Program extension throughout coastal Alaska. The program is based at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.
Alaska Sea Grant also will fund a host of other studies, including a study of the abundance of plankton species that are an important food source for juvenile pink salmon in Prince William Sound, and a project to determine whether some small salmon fisheries can be effectively managed at a lower cost by using predetermined fishing periods rather than expensive test fisheries and escapement surveys.
The funding announcement comes after a yearlong project submission and review process. Alaska Sea Grant issued a request for proposals in December 2008, and received 33 pre-proposals. Of these, 16 projects were developed into full proposals. Final projects were selected following a proposal review process that included science peers and an advisory panel.
Federal funding for the six projects over the next two years totals approximately $1,000,232. The funding includes money to support graduate students working on these projects.