Ocean Community News

Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Announces Red Snapper Abundance Funding

The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) is accepting proposal submissions to estimate the abundance of red snapper in the U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Projects must use the design criteria described in the funding request.

This funding opportunity is to develop an independent abundance estimate of Age-2 and older red snapper. The successful applicant will determine the absolute abundance of the red snapper population by habitat type, including artificial reefs, natural reefs and unclassified habitats. The design must include mark-recapture tagging and advanced technology methods.

The red snapper is economically important to sportfishers and the commercial fishing industry throughout the Gulf. Historical overharvesting resulted in a depleted population, but under current management measures the population is recovering, with full recovery expected by 2032. The current stock assessment for red snapper may under-sample fish in certain habitat types, particularly on artificial reefs and other structures where sampling is difficult. There is a need to obtain an independent estimate of red snapper abundance.

MASGC anticipates funding one proposal at a level of $9.5 million plus a non-federal match requirement of $2.5 million. Funding sources for this research competition are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service.

Proposals from institutions of higher education are welcome. The proposal’s principal investigator must be located within a U.S. Gulf of Mexico state. Co-investigators, including state agencies, non-governmental organizations and the fishing industry, may be in any U.S. region. Federal partners may also participate as uncompensated collaborators.

A webinar will be held to discuss this funding opportunity on March 31, 2017, from 1-2:30 p.m. Central time. Please visit the MASGC red snapper RFP webpage for instructions on how to participate in the webinar.

A letter of intent is required to submit a full proposal and is due by 5 p.m. Central time on Friday, April 7, 2017. The proposal submission deadline is 5 p.m. Central time on Friday, June 9, 2017.

By: Melissa Schneider, MASGC

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