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
NFWF on April 30 overall announced 15 grants totaling $1.565
million, to be matched by over $1.56 million from grantees.