Due Date: 
March 31, 2017

This grant program provides competitive grants to non-Federal researchers working to benefit U.S. fishermen and fisheries by the development of improved fishing practices and innovative gear technologies. The Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act (MSA) requires that NOAA’s conservation and management measures minimize bycatch to the extent practicable and established the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP) to develop technological devices and other conservation engineering changes to minimize bycatch and reduce post-release mortality of non-target species in our nation’s fisheries. Bycatch reduction is a top priority for NMFS, as outlined in the NMFS National Bycatch Reduction Strategy, because bycatch contributes to overfishing, threatens endangered and threatened species and protected marine mammals, and can close fisheries, significantly impacting U.S. economic growth. This Program seeks to support the development and testing of fishing gears that reduce bycatch. NMFS managers and Regional Fishery Management Councils need new bycatch reduction technology to meet the MSA requirements to minimize bycatch and habitat impacts.