NFWF supports US communities through grants to foster creative approaches to sustainability. (Photo: NFWF/FIS)
Foundation offers grants to foster sustainable fishing
Thursday, October 06, 2011, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
Fisheries managers, fishermen, nonprofit organizations and others with a stake in America’s fisheries now have additional resources to put their innovative ideas into action. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has announced the second round of grants available from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a public-private partnership to foster the design and implementation of new and ground-breaking ideas for sustainable fisheries practices.
“The Fisheries Innovation Fund supports communities across the country that are working to sustain one of our nation’s most important ocean resources,” said NFWF Executive Director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. “In just 12 months, the Fund has proven that new ideas and creative approaches to sustainability can have a positive impact on fisheries from coast to coast, and we are committed to assisting this process.”
According to Lynn Langford Walton of the Ilwaco Fishermen and Marketing Cooperative in Washington State, a 2010 grant recipient, “Support from the fund is allowing us to work more aggressively in the development of a programme that is already helping us to access more target fish with fewer bycatch interactions. Though there is much still to do, this support is vital to our effort to establish a solid, replicable means of keeping our vessels and crews on the [fishing] grounds and working.”
NFWF’s Fisheries Innovation Fund, introduced in 2010, encourages the participation of fishermen and fishing communities in the implementation of sustainable fisheries in the US. It promotes the development of safer, more profitable fisheries that meet catch limits and eliminate overfishing. In its initial year, the Fund awarded nearly USD 2.25 million to 18 projects in the northeastern US, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific coast and Alaska. In 2012, the Fund expects to award USD 1.1 to USD 2 million for 15 projects across the country. Details on the Request for Proposals are available at www.nfwf.org/fisheriesfund.
“These grants help unleash the expert knowledge and creativity of fishermen and communities,” said Eric Schwaab, assistant administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries Service. “The Fund is already supporting testing and evaluation of new ideas to build capacity in fishing communities and improve their sustainability, which is a win-win solution for stakeholders and managers.”
Rob Snyder of the Island Institute in Rockland, Maine, a 2010 grant recipient, says “Our project with Ecotrust supports a network of fishing community trusts across the country by providing new business, organizational management and planning tools that are essential to the economic viability of fishing communities in our current environment.”