Funding Available: Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grants

Full Proposal Due Date: 13 April 2015

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will run a national program that will award grants to catalyze the implementation of electronic technologies (ET) for catch monitoring in US fisheries. NFWF anticipates awarding up to $4 million through this solicitation, and expects that approximately 50% of the funds will support projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Electronic Monitoring and Reporting (EMR) Grant Program will advance NOAA’s sustainable fisheries goals to partner with fishermen and other stakeholders to systematically integrate technology into fisheries data collections and observations for fisheries management. The EMR Grant Program will solicit proposals that advance implementation of promising electronic technologies that improve the timeliness of fisheries data, increase knowledge of the fisheries for management purposes, and empower fishermen and other citizens to become more actively involved in the data collection process.

In FY15 the focus will be supporting the implementation of a voluntary cost-shared electronic monitoring and reporting programs that support fisheries conservation and management, including but not limited to, the for-hire recreational fishery in the Gulf of Mexico, pursuant to Public Law 113-235, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015.

The EMR Grant Program will consider applications from all US fisheries, including but not limited to commercial and recreational fisheries that catalyze the adoption of electronic monitoring and reporting consistent with NOAA Fisheries Regional Electronic Technology Plans or data collection programs identified by Regional Fishery Management Councils.

NOAA and the Fishery Management Councils created the Regional Electronic Technology Plans to provide a schedule of where and how to adopt appropriate electronic technologies, if any, for all fishery management plans. The plans are available for review at www.fisheries.noaa.gov/op/outreach/EM%20and%20R%20roll%20out%20Feb%202015.html.

Proposals that are likely to be competitive under the ERM grant program will:

• Advance cost effective implementation of priorities identified in the Regional Electronic Technology Plans;

• Improve reporting and monitoring of fisheries including, but not limited to, assisting commercial and recreational fisheries with acquiring and deploying appropriate electronic technologies needed to advance at scale implementation of the regional electronic technology implementation plans;

• Build on successful pilot project(s), or on other EMR implementation projects that have demonstrated that the approaches being proposed will increase the quality of the fisheries data and the speed of the data entering the management process;

• Improve capacity to ensure that electronic data being reported from the field is communicated and processed efficiently; meets appropriate standards for chain of custody, confidentiality, and archiving; and complies with rigorous standards needed for inclusion in stock assessments, catch accounting and management (and provide at a minimum, trip level catch or discards at least by species and number);

• Coordinate closely on data management with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

All application materials must be submitted online through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Easygrants system at www.nfwf.org/easgrants.

For more information, visit www.nfwf.org/fisheriesfund/Pages/em2015rfp.aspx.

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