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BREP 2015 Awards

October 1, 2015
Introduced in November 2014, the BREP grant-funded collapsable-wing pot allows West Coast fishermen to catch lingcod, but exclude protected Pacific rockfish.    

NOAA Fisheries has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program. Bycatch of various species—fish, marine mammals, or turtles—can have significant biological, economic, and social impacts. Preventing and reducing bycatch is a shared goal of fisheries managers, the fishing industry, and the environmental community.

Working side-by-side with fishermen on their boats, NOAA Fisheries has developed solutions to some of the top bycatch challenges facing our nation’s fisheries. Ongoing regional projects include: 

Read more about program accomplishments in the annual Report to Congress.

2015 Grant Recipients

The newly-awarded projects support bycatch reduction research around the country and address a variety of species, including Chinook salmon, Pacific rockfish, shrimp, swordfish, halibut, coastal sharks, skates, sea turtles, whales, and other marine mammals.

Check out 2015 project abstracts here!


FishNext Research
Project Title:
Enabling halibut bycatch reduction by Gulf of Alaska groundfish trawl fisheries: Tools for excluder testing and enhanced bycatch tracking.

University of California, San Diego
Project Title: Continued Video, Acoustic, and Accelerometer Deployments on Pelagic and Demersal Longlines, for Observing Interactions with Bycatch Species

Greater Atlantic

University of New England 
Project Title:  Quantifying and reducing post-release mortality for Dusky sharks discarded in the commercial pelagic longline fishery 

The Research Foundation for the State University of New York 
Project Title:  Development of an Analytical Tool to Allow Fishermen to Reduce Bycatch of Short-Finned Pilot Whales in the Mid-Atlantic Bight

New England Aquarium Corporation
Project Title: Identifying bottom trawl bycatch hotspots and capture-and-handling practices to reduce the incidental mortality of an overfished Species of Concern -- the Thorny Skate -- in the Gulf of Maine 

University of New England 
Project Title: Determining the post-release mortality rate and -- best capture-and-handling -- methods for Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) discarded in Gulf of Maine lobster industry

Pacific Islands

Cascadia Research Collective
Project Title:  False killer whale movements in relation to longline fishing activity: assessment of interactions using satellite tag and fisheries data to develop best practices to reduce bycatch

Southeast & Caribbean

The University of Mississippi
Project Title: Reducing Shark Bycatch in Commercial and Recreational Fisheries

North Carolina Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources 
Project Title: Technical Solutions to Reduce Bycatch in the North Carolina Otter Trawl Shrimp Fishery

West Coast

Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research 
Project Title: Strategic deep-setting for swordfish:  Developing an alternative for the CA drift gillnet fishery

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission 
Project Title: Examining the use of artificial illumination to reduce rockfish bycatch in the west coast groundfish bottom trawl flatfish fishery

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission 
Project Title: Modifying trawl selectivity to reduce Chinook salmon bycatch in the Pacific hake fishery

Hanan and Associates, Inc.
Project Title: Testing potential bycatch reduction from deep-set compared to shallow-set pelagic longline fishing targeting swordfish in the California Current


Fisheries and Marine Institute, Memorial University
Project Title: Should shrimp trawls lighten up? Investigating the effectiveness of LEDs at reducing bycatch of small-bodied fish in Atlantic shrimp fisheries

Pro Delphinus
Project Title: Assessing the effectiveness of net illumination as a multi-taxa bycatch reduction solution

Ocean Discovery Institute
Project Title: Testing acoustic deterrent devices to reduce bycatch of sea turtles in commercial gillnet fisheries