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Bluefin Tuna Research Program

Cooperative Agreements to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, IHEs, and
Individuals for Studies to Enhance Fisheries Management

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Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

Deadline Date:

09/24/21 5:00 PM EST Receipt or Postmarked by Date


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Cooperative agreements to USA nonprofit organizations, IHEs, state and local governments, tribes, individuals, and commercial organizations to conduct research that will enhance the management of fisheries. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support projects that seek to improve stock assessments of Atlantic bluefin tuna.

The objective of the program is to provide a basis for advancing science-based fisheries management for Atlantic bluefin tuna. Such advancement will depend upon improvements in understanding of the fisheries and biology of bluefin tuna, especially regarding the effects of mixing and movement between the eastern and western Atlantic populations.

Contracting Parties to the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), of which the US is one, and other partners have embarked upon a multi-year research program on bluefin tuna as a step toward improving ICCAT's science-based management of Bluefin fisheries. Research sponsored under this funding opportunity represents a contribution to this partnership. Proposals that demonstrate collaborations with the ICCAT Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Research Program and other ICCAT partners are strongly encouraged.

Program Priorities:

The main premise for a Bluefin Tuna Research Program (BTRP) project is to provide usable and relevant information to aid fishery researchers, scientists, and managers to make informed management decisions. The Standing Committee for Research and Statistics (SCRS), which develops scientific advice for the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), has developed a list of priorities for research needed to improve bluefin tuna stock assessments. These priorities are summarized below, in no particular order of importance. Proposals must address one of these priority areas as they pertain to Atlantic bluefin tuna Federal fisheries management plans. 

Research priorities for this funding opportunity include:

  1. Representative sampling of hard and soft tissues and associated analytical techniques for studies of population genomics, stock composition, age composition, growth and total reproductive contribution by size and age.
  2. Large-scale conventional, electronic and genetic tagging experiments specifically designed to estimate movement rates, abundance, and mortality of the eastern or western stocks.
  3. Historical data (both paper copies or archived biological material) mining to sharpen estimates of catch, catch composition, fishing effort, and spatial aspects of catch.
  4. Simulation modeling to evaluate the performance of assessment models and management strategies in light of uncertainties related to stock mixing, reproductive potential and other life-history traits.
  5. Improving the quality of fishery data for stock assessments (e.g., using advanced technology to obtain representative data on catch per unit effort, size composition, etc…).
  6. Developing novel fishery-independent techniques to estimate abundance or mortality (e.g., using advanced technology, genomics, or enhancing coverage through effective multi-institution partnerships).
  7. Integration of satellite remote sensing, oceanographic modeling and other multidisciplinary scientific products to consider environmental effects upon biology (recruitment, mortality, movement, etc), fishery operations or to resolve the uncertainties in current and historical recruitment. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186482

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center estimates awarding approximately 5 projects.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center estimates awarding projects that will range from $25,000 to $300,000. The expected average award is $125,000.

Term of Contract:

The period of awards can be for a maximum period of up to 12 months.

The earliest start date of awards (1st of a month) is approximately 425 days after the date of publication of the notice for this grant. Applicants should consider this selection and processing time in developing requested start dates for their applications. It is suggested that a September 1, 2022, start date be requested on the application.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants may be institutions of higher education, nonprofits, commercial organizations, individuals, and state, local, and Indian tribal governments.

Federal agencies or institutions are not eligible.

Foreign governments, organizations under the jurisdiction of foreign governments, and international organizations are excluded for purposes of this solicitation since the objective of the program is to optimize research and development benefits from U.S. marine fishery resources.

All applicants must include a written agreement with a person employed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), who will act as a partner in the proposed research project. This written agreement must be signed by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) Director or Lab Director.

Applications will not be accepted for construction projects.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by, postmarked, or provided to a delivery service by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on September 24, 2021 to be considered for funding.

Note: It may take up to two (2) business days to validate or reject an application. Please keep this in mind when developing your submission timeline. Use of U.S. mail or another delivery service must be documented with a receipt. Applications received later than 5 calendar days following the closing date will not be accepted.

Applicants should submit applications electronically through Applicants should note that it can take between 3-5 business days or as long as 3 weeks to register with if all steps are not completed in a timely manner and registration is required only once.

If an applicant does not have Internet access or if is inaccessible, paper applications will be accepted. Paper applications must be postmarked or provided to a delivery service and documented with a receipt and sent to Dax Ruiz, Federal Grants Program Manager.

Applications postmarked or provided to a delivery service after 5:00 pm September 24, 2021 will not be considered for funding. Applications submitted via the U.S. Postal Service must have an official postmark; private metered postmarks are not acceptable. In any event, applications received later than 5 calendar days following the closing date will not be accepted. No facsimile or electronic mail applications will be accepted.

Applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered in the Systems for Award Management (SAM). Allow a minimum of thirty days to receive a DUNS number and to be registered in SAM.

Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through

Subject to the availability of funds, successful applications are usually recommended for funding within 365 days from the date of publication of this notice.

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For technical support, contact: Customer Support

For submission of a paper application:
Dax Ruiz
Federal Grants Program Manager
263 13th Avenue, South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

For questions, contact:
Dax Ruiz
State/Federal Liaison Branch
(727) 824-5324

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URL for Full Text (RFP):

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