Fishing for Energy Partnership Announces Grants to Support Marine Debris Prevention

Posted Tue, 09/15/2015 - 18:17

Earlier today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced this year’s grant awards from the Fishing for Energy Partnership. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is happy to be part of this collaboration, along with the NFWF and Covanta, to support the fifth round of grant awards, totaling more than $263,000.

Fishing for Energy

The Fishing for Energy Partnership was launched in 2008 and works to reduce the amount of derelict fishing gear in U.S. waters by offering commercial fishermen a no-cost opportunity to dispose of old, lost or unusable fishing gear. This gear is then recycled and processed to generate electricity at Covanta Energy-from-Waste facilities. The mission is to reduce the adverse economic and environmental impacts of derelict fishing gear.

This year’s grant awards support projects to help commercial and recreational fishermen and boaters reduce the amount of fishing gear lost in the marine environment. The 2015 Fishing for Energy Partnership grants include:

Engaging Recreational Boaters in the Prevention of Commercial Fixed Gear Debris
The Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water 
Fishing for Energy Grant: $105,699 | Grantee Contributions: $140,580
Educate recreational boaters nationwide about specific means of preventing boat entanglement with fixed fishing gear and provide best practices to explain how to responsibly respond when entanglements do occur. Project will explore the user conflict between recreational boaters and fishermen and develop effective practices and messages to enhance debris prevention efforts through formal and informal boater education.

Reducing Derelict Crab Trap Generation in South Carolina through Engagement of Recreational Boaters and Commercial Crabbers
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Fishing for Energy Grant: $49,324 | Grantee Contributions: $19,241
Characterize crab trap float losses in South Carolina as a result of vessel strikes and engineer solutions to reduce the rate of annual derelict fishing gear accrual. Project will engage both recreational boaters and commercial crabbers to reduce the probability of severing crab trap floats when a boat collision cannot be avoided.

Reducing Derelict Gear through Educational Tools for Recreational Pot Fishermen in New England 
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries 
Fishing for Energy Grant: $41,344 | Grantee Contributions: $3,663
Create a series of educational videos for recreational pot fishermen in New England. Project will demonstrate Best Management Practices for recreational fishermen and provide the education tools needed to reduce the incidence of derelict fishing gear.

Development of Side‐scan Sonar Methodology to Survey Derelict Lobster Pots in Sandy and Rocky Habitats in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Fishing for Energy Grant: $66,722 | Grantee Contributions: $10,672
Estimate derelict lobster pot density in Western Cape Cod Bay, Mass., using a full coverage side-scan sonar pilot survey. Project will develop a derelict lobster pot detection rate by using side-scan sonar on a known number of pots over both featureless and complex habitats.

To see the NFWF’s full press release, click here.