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Fund Focuses on Community Innovation and Knowledge Transfer to Support Sustainable Fisheries Management

Boats in Stonington, Maine. The Penobscot East Resource Center, a small non-profit from the area, received funding in 2011 and 2012.  A total of eighteen fishing communities across the nationfrom Massachusetts to Louisianawill receive funding from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

Fish diagram from the Fishermen's Marketing Association, which shows electronic monitoring gear they are developing to identify catch.

Four of the projects funded by the 2012 Fisheries Innovation Fund will modify fishing gear or practices to reduce bycatch.  

April 30, 2012

Today the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awards 18 grants from its Fisheries Innovation Fund for a total $1.55 million, and grantees will match the funds more than $1.2 million. Around the country, fishermen and coastal communities are using innovative techniques and lessons learned to support sustainable fisheries. These awards represent the second round of grants from Fisheries Innovation fund, a program first launched 2010 to support sustainable fisheries in the United States, with the goal of sustaining fishermen and rebuilding fish stocks. 

NOAA Fisheries recognizes the value of effective participation of fishermen and fishing communities in the design, implementation, and improvement of fisheries management, and has invested $1.5 million over the last two years in a public-private partnership to issue grants for fisheries innovations. 

NOAA’s investment—and the grantees—underscores the growing recognition that fishermen and fishing communities play a pivotal role in sustaining the viability of the nation’s fisheries and in identifying creative solutions to management challenges.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) created the Fisheries Innovation Fund with additional financial support from the Walton Family Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The fund targets local innovation and knowledge transfer to sustain coastal communities and the fisheries upon which they depend. The most recent grant recipients focus on improving access to fish, capital, and shore-side infrastructure.

“The ideas, skills, and perspective that communities have and are acquiring to build capacity about management, marketing, technology, and access to the resource are of tremendous value to share with others facing similar challenges in their home region or port,” said Sam Rauch, Acting Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “The Fisheries Innovation Fund has been a critical element of our effort to support fishing communities.”

The fund supports efforts to:

Click here to see the full list of 2012 Fisheries Innovation Fund grants listed by region. For additional information on the Fisheries Innovation Fund visit