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Public Notice: Bring us Your Best Ideas 2001, Fishery Resource Grant Program

The Virginia Graduate Marine Science Consortium is accepting applications to compete for approximately $300,000 in the Fishery Resource Grant Program. The Virginia Legislature created the Fishery Resource Grant Program to "protect and enhance the Commonwealth's coastal fishery resource through the awarding of grants" in four areas: 1) new fisheries equipment or gear; 2) environmental pilot studies on issues including water quality and fisheries habitat; 3) aquaculture or mariculture of marine-dependent species; and 4) seafood technology.

Basic to the program is the belief that people in the commercial fishing industry often have valid ideas for enhancing and protecting fisheries, but they lack the financial resources to experiment with innovations. The Fishery Resource Grant Program invests in ideas generated by the fishing public through fair and competitive methods. The legislation established four priority areas, as follows:

* New Fisheries Equipment and Gear - focus on the development of less environmentally destructive gear, bycatch reduction, and more effective ways to handle catch.
* Environmental Pilot Studies - focus on ways to restore damaged habitat, create new habitat, prevent habitat impairment, or reduce impact from fishing or aquaculture activities.
* Aquaculture/Mariculture - focus on ways to develop criteria and assessment for permits, increase return from investment in culture activities or introduce new species to the existing aquaculture list to broaden participation in commercial aquaculture.
* Seafood Technology and Utilization - develop value-added products from existing production, the utilization of underused or new fishery resources, develop models for total quality system management programs, or increase returns in the seafood industry by improving packaging and handling.

A series of workshops will be held to explain the grants program, including eligibility and funding priorities, how to complete the application form and where to go for more help when developing a grant proposal package. The time and location of these workshops are listed below:

Monday, May 14, 2001- 6:30-8:30 p.m. Watermen's Hall Auditorium, VIMS, Gloucester Point
Tuesday, May 15, 2001- 6:30-8:30 p.m. Lecture Hall, Eastern Shore Community College, Melfa
Wednesday, May 16, 2001 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Rappahannock Community College Auditorium, Warsaw
Tangier School Auditorium, Tangier Island. Date and time to be determined

For more information or to receive materials by mail, contact Barbara Kriete at VIMS, 804-684-7170. 

For More Information, Contact:
Tom Murray, Marine Business Specialist
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program
P.O. Box 1346
Gloucester Point, VA 23062
Phone (804) 684-7190
Fax (804) 684-7161 
April 27, 2001

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