The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

The 11 grants for 2016 total $1.19 million, and will be matched by over $1.3 million in additional support from the grantees, for a total conservation impact of more than $2.5 million. NFWF’s Fisheries Innovation Fund is supported by NOAA, the Walton Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and this year welcomes a new funder, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

“The grants we announce today will contribute to the effective implementation of innovations that strengthen the welfare of fishermen and fish stocks alike,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “Now in its sixth year, the Fisheries Innovation Fund continues to promote innovative solutions that support sustainable fisheries and local communities across the country.”

Altogether, the grants will support conservation work in 15 states: Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington. Projects examples include an effort to develop the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Network and preserve vibrant Alaskan fishing communities, and another project to establish a local fish hub in Monterey, California to ensure local residents and retailors have access to fresh, locally caught seafood.

”We're pleased to support fishermen-led initiatives that support fisheries sustainability and resilience,” said Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator NMFS. “Projects funded through this public-private partnership showcase the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in fisheries conservation and management and play a role in helping end overfishing, rebuild stocks, and foster economic well-being."

A complete list of the 2016 Fisheries Innovation Fund grants, by region, can be found here.

Have you listened to this article via the audio player above?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

Join the Conversation