The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced in press release that it has approved a landmark amount of grant money for various fishing-related projects across the country.
This funding comes from the most recent iteration of the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program, seeks to improve the fishing industry in multiple ways, from promoting better quality of seafood to creating more fishing opportunities. The funding for this year surpasses $25 million total, a first for the grant program and significant in the way it may fuel development in diverse areas.
Examples of projects supported by this funding include an avoidance strategy for fishermen from the Sitka Sound Science Center in Alaska as well as a mortality study for released sharks, conducted in Hawaii. On the opposite side of the continent, research will include examinations of different fish populations, including black sea bass and winter flounder.
An article on the announcement that appeared in Ocean News & Technology quotes Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator, who placed this grant series in the context of NOAA's greater mission. Assignment of funding is not final yet and awaits approval from officials. However, proposal numbers and requested federal fund amounts are listed on the NOAA page.
"NOAA is committed to helping communities become more resilient environmentally as well as economically," she said. "These awards will create jobs, increase economic opportunities for fishing communities, improve the kinds of data and observations we collect about the health of our nation's fisheries and oceans, and make sound investments in mitigating future risk."
Once these grants have been issued, operators should guarantee that they are ready for projects by investing in comprehensive marine insurance.