Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grants Offered for Vessel Monitoring, GPS Data Loggers and Reducing Halibut Discard

Grants awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will help fund testing of electronic monitoring on small fixed gear cod boats, GPS data loggers as an alternative to vessel monitoring systems and reducing halibut discard mortality in Alaska.

The three grants to Alaska entities, totaling $292,400, will be matched by $357,732 from grant recipients, the NFWF said.

In California, grants totaling $273,245 were awarded to three other entities, to be matched by $145,841 from the grantees.

The North Pacific Fisheries Association Inc., in Homer got $127,400, and with its matching funds of $120,000 will field test an improved electronic monitoring system on small pot and hook-and-line boats fishing for Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska. A comparison of costs of electronic monitoring to costs of observers in this fishery will be made in field tests in the western and central regulatory areas of the Gulf of Alaska.

Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association in Sitka will provide $181,500 in matching funds for its $110,000 grant to implement a two-stage field trial to fully evaluate and document use of GPS data loggers as a low-cost alternative to vessel monitoring systems in Alaska’s catch share halibut and sablefish fisheries throughout Southeast Alaska.

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council meanwhile will put up $56,232 in matching funds for a $55,000 NFWF grant to conduct a collaborative, industry-driven conservation initiative to reduce mortality of discarded halibut in the Alaska sport fishing sector by facilitating broad use of best practices for careful release. The project focus will be top ports for recreational halibut harvest and discards in both Southeast and Southcentral Alaska, from Craig to Kodiak.

In California, Local Catch Monterey Bay, a community supported fishery, was granted $100,000 to create a strategy for scaling the organization to support emerging community fishing associations, fishing cooperatives and risk pools on the West Coast by distributing their seafood to neighboring communities. The project, with $3,000 in matching funds, will develop a marketing and distribution plan, a sustainability metrics to monitor environmental, social and economic benchmarks.

California’s Fort Bragg Groundfish Association also was awarded $100,000, to be matched by $70,000 from the association, to build a branding, promotional and traceability strategy to capitalize on compliance with sustainability measures in the individual transferable quota fishery.

The M/V Outer Limits Inc. in San Diego, was granted $73,245, to be matched by another $72,841 to evaluate different descending devices for releasing rockfish suffering from barotrauma, and to monitor long term survival and behavior of rock fish released using these devices, off the coast of San Diego.
NFWF on April 30 overall announced 15 grants totaling $1.565 million, to be matched by over $1.56 million from grantees.

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