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Fisheries Innovation Fund Brings Focus to Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Fisheries Conservation and Management

A Look at Some of the 2013 
Grant Recipients

Alaska Marine Conservation Council - 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.

Kodiak Harbor in Alaska.

Local Catch - This project will create a strategy for scaling Local Catch Monterey Bay to support emerging community fishing associations, fishing cooperatives, and risk pools on the west coast by distributing their seafood to neighboring harbors and city centers from San Francisco to Morro Bay.

West Coast fishing dock.

iAngler - The Snook Foundation will develop technical and communications/messaging innovations to augment the number of recreational anglers skilled in recording fishing trop data in a standardized system.  

Recreational fishers at sunset.


April 30, 2013

Today the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded $1.6 million to 15 grant recipients through its Fisheries Innovation Fund.  The Fund is a successful public-private partnership that was conceived by NOAA Fisheries and NFWF four years ago to foster the development and implementation of creative approaches for sustainable fisheries.  

Through the financial contributions of NOAA and several philanthropic organizations, in the three years since the Fisheries Innovation Fund was established almost $5.5 million has been awarded to 51 projects in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Coast, Alaska, Caribbean and Great Lakes. The full list of 2013 Fisheries Innovation Fund grants is available at    

These projects are playing an important role in ending overfishing, rebuilding stocks, and fostering social capital and economic well-being in fishing communities. They have also brought new focus to the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in fisheries conservation, management, and community stability.

“The Fisheries Innovation Fund supports novel techniques and solutions for improved fisheries management across the U.S., both recreational and commercial,” said Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “Many of the projects originate directly from commercial and sport fishermen to address fishing community challenges and opportunities. Our public-private partnership with the Foundation is the ideal solution to support fishermen’s initiatives. We congratulate the 2013 grant recipients, and look forward to working with them as they conduct their projects to support fisheries sustainability.”

This theme will be advanced next week at the Managing Our Nation’s Fisheries III Conference in Washington, DC, May 7-9, 2013. The conference will provide a forum for information exchange and an opportunity to hear a wide range of perspectives on the sustainability of fish stocks and ecosystem functions, and the fishing communities that depend on them. Of the three concurrent sessions, one will focus on community sustainability and the innovative ways NOAA Fisheries and our partners can improve the viability of coastal communities in the long-term through legislative, regulatory, and policy practices and innovation.

For additional information about Managing Our Nation's Fisheries 3, click here.