Fishery Resource Grant Program

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:

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New Fisheries Equipment and Gear 

This priority area seek 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.


This priority area seeks proposals that focus on ways to develop criteria and assessment for permits, increase return from investment in cultural 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 released, the Request for Proposals (RFP) will be posted on this site. *Typically, the RFP is posted in October of each year and applications are due in January. 

To see the most recent report, please visit: 2020 Annual Legislative Report

*Application period for 2023 is now open!

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To Apply: RFP and Application Documents 

Request for Proposals *Application period for 2023 is now open! 

Application w/ Guidelines (PDF)

Microsoft Word Application

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For assistance with the application process or to request more information, please contact a MAP specialist. We also hold idea-development workshops from November-December and highly recommend attending to learn more and ask questions. 

To view past reports, please visit our final project reports page.

Questions concerning the Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program may be directed to:

Dr. David B. Rudders
VIMS Marine Advisory Program
Gloucester Point, VA 23062
phone: 804-684-7531
fax: 804-684-7161