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Gear Research

NOAA Fisheries Service’s Greater Atlantic Region Protected Resources Division has funded a variety of gear research projects since 2002 largely focusing on reducing entanglement risk from commercial fishing gear to endangered large whales, including North Atlantic right, humpback, and fin whales.

Right Whale Research Program

The Right Whale Research Program (also historically known as the Fishing Gear Mini-Grants Program), in place from 2003 through 2006, emphasized the funding of projects to reduce the risk of serious injury and mortality to large whales, especially right whales, from entanglements in commercial fishing gear. This program was managed with the cooperation of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), who performed award and funding administration duties.

NOAA Fisheries Service encouraged the submission of projects by commercial fishermen or other industry-related professions and encouraged applicants to work with NOAA Fisheries Service staff to develop their research idea or concept. In 2006, the scope of the Right Whale Research Program was expanded by accepting proposals for projects that addressed some right whale biological needs in support of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP).

Funded Projects – Click below to view summaries of projects that have been funded through this program (2003 through 2006).

Current Large Whale Gear Research Projects

After 2006, NOAA Fisheries Service’s Greater Atlantic Region Protected Resources Division administered gear research funding through federal grants.  These funded gear research projects have provided helpful information that has been used in discussions focused on addressing entanglement risks to endangered large whales from commercial fixed fishing gear.

Funded Projects – Click here to view summaries and final reports (where available) of recently funded gear research projects.