Special Funding Opportunity: Nationwide Fishing Trap Removal, Assessment, and Prevention Program

Posted Mon, 04/15/2024 - 08:07

We are pleased to announce with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, a request for proposals under the Nationwide Fishing Trap Removal, Assessment, and Prevention (TRAP) Program. With funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will award up to $1,475,000 in grants to remove derelict fishing traps throughout coastal waterways of the United States while collecting data to prevent future gear loss.

A pile of derelict fishing gear tangled together on a shoreline.
A tangled pile of derelict fishing gear on the shoreline (Photo: NOAA).

Derelict fishing traps are cage traps that are lost, abandoned, discarded, or otherwise no longer under control of a commercial or recreational fisher, such as abandoned crab or lobster pots/traps. These traps not only cost fishers money to replace, but can also compete with active fishing gear by trapping economically important species. Derelict fishing traps can also trap and kill non-target species, such as fish, turtles, and other endangered and threatened species that are not meant to be caught.

Through a streamlined application process, this competition aims to lower the administrative burden on applicants and allow more organizations to access funds for derelict fishing trap removal. Priority will be given to projects that provide ecological and/or economic benefits; integrate innovative, sustainable approaches to derelict fishing trap disposal; and take place in sanctuaries, reserves, tribal or Indigenous community fishing grounds, or other protected areas.  Projects throughout the coastal United States, including United States territories and Freely Associated States, are eligible for consideration.

Proposals are due on May 30, 2024 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). To apply, please visit the Virginia Institute of Marine Science website for eligibility and submission information.