Posted on September 11, 2017

Dear Interested Parties,

The National Marine Fisheries Service, in coordination with the New England Fishery Management Council, is soliciting proposals for the 2018-2019 Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program. The application deadline is November 6, 2017.

HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK: The Scallop RSA Program was established through the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan to address scallop research priorities identified by the New England Council. The Council adopted 2018-2019 research priorities at its June meeting in Portland, ME.

HOW IS THE RSA PROGRAM FUNDED: Each year, 1.25 million pounds of scallops are “set aside” during the specification-setting process to carry out the program. Awards are made in pounds, not dollars, and no federal funding is provided to conduct the research. Proceeds generated from the sale of set-aside scallops are used to fund research activities and compensate vessels that participate in research activities and/or harvest set-aside quota.

2018-2019 PRIORITIES: Projects funded under the Scallop RSA Program must: (a) enhance understanding of the scallop resource; or (b) contribute to scallop fishery management decisions. For the current federal funding opportunity, priority will be given to proposals that address the New England Council’s list of 2018 and 2019 research priorities. The complete list is spelled out in detail in the 2018-2019 Atlantic Sea Scallop Federal Funding Opportunity notice, which also contains instructions for how to submit proposals. In very general terms, the research priority categories include:

  • HIGHEST: (#1) Survey-related research
  • HIGH: (#2) Scallop meat quality research; and (#3) bycatch research
  • MEDIUM: (#4) Turtle behavior investigations and potential impact on the Mid-Atlantic/Georges Bank scallop fishery; (#5) scallop biology projects
  • OTHER: (#6) Dredge efficiency investigations; (#7) habitat characterization research; (#8a) projects related to water quality and environmental stressors; (#8b) spat collection and seeding projects; (#9) research to identify sources of management uncertainty and potential effects on projected landings; (#10) expanded survey coverage into new or minimally sampled areas; (#11) social and economic impacts and consequences of area rotation; and (#12) investigations of non-harvest scallop mortality.

REVIEW PROCESS: All submitted proposals will be evaluated by: (1) technical reviewers for technical merit; and (2) a management panel comprised of scallop fishermen, fishery managers, fishing industry representatives, and others closely involved with scallop fishery management issues.

RSA BACKGROUNDERS: Learn more at RSA and everything you ever wanted to know.

QUESTIONS: For more information about the 2018-2019 solicitation and the Scallop RSA Program in general, contact Cheryl Corbett at (508) 495-2070,