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US finances fisheries innovative by-catch reduction research projects

Wednesday, September 7th 2016 - 04:40 UTC
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Reducing by-catch is a key part of NOAA’s efforts to maintain sustainable fisheries and conserve and recover protected species. Reducing by-catch is a key part of NOAA’s efforts to maintain sustainable fisheries and conserve and recover protected species.
“By working side-by-side with fishermen and our partners, this program has been able to develop smart solutions” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA fisheries. “By working side-by-side with fishermen and our partners, this program has been able to develop smart solutions” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA fisheries.

The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries is awarding more than US$ 2.4 million to partners around the country to support innovative by-catch reduction research projects through its By-catch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP).

 Reducing by-catch is a key part of NOAA’s efforts to maintain sustainable fisheries and conserve and recover protected species.

BREP provides critical funding to key partners to develop technological solutions and changes in fishing practices that decrease the by-catch of fish and protected species or minimize injury to marine life.

“By working side-by-side with fishermen and our partners, this program has been able to develop smart solutions that keep unwanted, unusable or protected species in the water, while increasing the catch of species fishermen are looking to harvest,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries.

Ongoing projects supported by BREP funding are the following:

Create an enhanced communication network and real-time maps to allow longfin squid fishermen to avoid butterfish “hot spots” and reduce by-catch by 54% in the Northeast;

Reduce by-catch of the endangered eulachon by up to 91% using LED lights in the West Coast ocean shrimp trawl fishery;

Develop a modified gillnet that reduced sturgeon interactions by more than 60% in Virginia and North Carolina.

This is the fifth year that NOAA Fisheries has awarded funding through BREP to increase by-catch reduction research and partnerships. (FIS)

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