Funding Opportunities

Support Bycatch Mitigation

Below are posted projects in need of funding.  Click “I’m Interested!” to get in touch with the Bycatch Solutions Hub Manager and learn more about a specific project or see the workplan.

*All projects will include a service and hosting fee by SFP for associated work to be paid for by funding organization.

 

Fisheries

Longline

Species Impacted

Sharks and Rays

Target Species

Tuna

Description

The Vietnam tuna handline/longline fishery primarily targets yellowfin tuna but also includes commercial catch of bigeye tuna, swordfish, blue marlin, striped marlin and wahoo from the western and central Pacific Ocean. During the FIP pre-assessment, they also documented bycatch interactions with sharks, rays, and sea turtles that get caught on the baited hooks.

Working with the Vietnamese fisheries association VINATUNA and FIP manager Sea Delight, this funding opportunity will reduce bycatch impacts on sharks, rays and sea turtles utilizing a comprehensive approach. This project will support best handling and release training workshops for 240 vessel captains and bycatch monitoring workshops for 40 port observers, expansion of the newly initiated at sea monitoring devices (COPPA), distribution of 1-year of circle hooks for 250 vessels (recognized best practice), and the printing and posting of Western Pacific Ocean Key Species and Discard Release posters on vessels and at major landing ports.

Trainings for both vessel captains and portside observers, informational posters, and expansion of the COPPA program will have long-term impacts on bycatch reduction in the fishery while circle hooks will immediately reduce bycatch rates for sharks, rays, and sea turtles. Additional support to provide a second year of circle hooks is possible and recommended.

Click "I'm Interested" to contact the Bycatch Solutions Hub for more details.

Beneficiary: VINATUNA

  • Comprehensive Bycatch Reduction Project $51,127 USD
  • Additional Year of Circle Hooks $12,570 USD

Fisheries

Longline, Gillnets

Species Impacted

Sea Turtles, Seabirds, Sharks and Rays, Marine Mammals

Target Species

Swordfish

Description

The Swordfish Deep Buoy Set Gear (DBSG) experimental fishery is a low-bycatch alternative to traditional commercial gear targeting swordfish, pelagic longlines and drifting gillnets.  DSBG reduces bycatch by setting beneath the thermocline, where non-targeted species are uncommon, and promoting the removal of high-risk traditional longline and gillnet fisheries.

A major challenge in the DBSG fishery is the ability to locate the gear in rough or foggy conditions, and at night.  By using smart buoys, fishers will always know exactly where their lines are and can quickly recover them.  This not only prevents any from being lost, but drastically decreases the amount of time spent looking for gear, increasing catch rates.  In addition, they do not have to keep gear in sight which improves the fishing experience by decreasing their exposure to dangerous conditions on deck. Last swordfish season, 2022-23, three vessels fished successfully using smart buoys and more vessels have requested interest in adopting the technology.

This funding opportunity fully outfits two swordfish DSBG vessels registered to an Experimental Fishing Permit off the coast of southern California with Blue Ocean Gear Farallon Smart Buoys.  Each vessel will receive ten Smart Buoys and 1 Wireless Charger, a software plan, initial training in their use, and technical support throughout the fishing season, September 2023 to March 2024.  Updates will be provided after implementation, after the season, and the beginning of the next season in the fall of 2024.

Click "I'm Interested" to contact the Bycatch Solutions Hub for more details.

Beneficiary: Blue Ocean Gear

  • Fully Outfit 4 DSBG Vessels $27,750 USD

Fisheries

Longline

Species Impacted

Sea Turtles, Sharks and Rays, Seabirds

Target Species

Tuna, Mahi, Swordfish

Description

The Eastern Pacific Longline Large Pelagics FIP targets yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi, and swordfish in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama.  The FIP has committed to implementing multiple bycatch mitigation methods and best practices but do not have a monitoring system sufficient to collect data on their effectiveness.

SFP will work with Martec (manages the FIP) to implement electronic monitoring (EM) on 3 vessels for 1 year.  The EM will confirm vessels are utilizing the committed best practices and collect data on bycatch interactions (interaction rate, species involved, release condition). This will greatly improve efforts to reduce bycatch impacts throughout the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The funding will be used to purchase the 3 EM systems, year round data analysis, and a stipend for fishermen to compensate for the impacts to fishing efficiency of the transition.  More details available upon request.

Beneficiary: Eastern Pacific Longline Large Pelagics FIP

  • EM Implementation Support: $38,850 FUNDED