The Virginia Legislature ratified House Bill 1634 in 1999, creating the Fishery Resource Grant Trust Fund to "protect and enhance the state's coastal fishery resources through the awarding of grants."
An Advisory Board, with input from members of the fishing industry, develops priorities for each year in the following areas:
New Fisheries Equipment and Gear - This priority area seeks proposals that focus on the development of less environmentally destructive gear, bycatch reduction, more effective ways to handle catch and the development of information leading to fishery management plans for key species and groups.
Environmental Pilot Studies - This priority area seeks proposals that focus on ways to restore damaged habitat, create new habitat, prevent habitat impairment or reduce impact from fishing or aquaculture activities.
Aquaculture/Mariculture - This priority area seeks proposals that 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 the participation in commercial aquaculture.
Seafood Technology and Utilization - This priority area seeks proposals that 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.
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 (defined as persons involved in commercial activities relating to fishery resources, aquaculture/mariculture or the processing or handling fishery products). Proposals submitted by persons not involved in a fishing industry must have 1) substantial involvement of Virginia fishers as defined (above) and 2) written endorsements from persons or organizations representing fishing industries supporting the project.
When RFPs for this program are available, they will be posted on this site.
Questions concerning the Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program may be directed to:
Dr David B. Rudders
VIMS Marine Advisory Services
Gloucester Point, VA 23062