The Virginia Institute of Marine Science has announced it is now accepting applications for watermen to compete for funding as part of the Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program. The Virginia Legislature created the program to protect and enhance the Commonwealth’s coastal fishery resource through the awarding of grants.
The program is structured in the belief that people in the commercial fishing industry often have valid ideas and opinions that can enhance and protect the fishing industry, but may lack the financial resources to experiment with innovations. The fishery Resource Grant Program invests in such ideas generated by the fishing public through fair and competitive methods.
The legislation established four categories that are considered priority areas for funding. The first includes the development of more environmentally friendly gear, methods to reduce by-catch, and more effective ways to handle catches. The second entails ways to restore damaged habitats, create new habitats, ways to prevent habitat impairment, and reduce impact from fishing or aquaculture activities. The third focuses on Aquaculture and Mariculture and looks at ways to develop criteria and assessment for permits, increase return from investment in culture activities, and introduce new species to the existing aquaculture list to broaden participation in commercial aquaculture. The last category deals with Seafood Technology and Utilization to develop value-added products from existing production, expand on underused or new fishery resources, and create models for a total quality system management program in order to increase returns in the seafood industry by improving packaging and handling.
To be eligible for funding under the Fishery Resource Grant Program, each proposal must substantially involve Virginians who are actively involved in a fishing industry which is defined by the Marine Advisory program as persons involved in commercial activities relating to fishery resources, aquaculture/mariculture, or the processing or handling of fishery products.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo 11/21/18