Marine Fisheries Initiative

To provide financial assistance for research and development projects that will provide information for the full and wise use and enhancement of fishery resources in the Southeast U. S. Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic beginning with the State of North Carolina south to Florida.

In addition,
beginning in Fiscal Year 1998 similar assistance is provided for the coastal New England states.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Relationship between estuarine habitat structure and distribution and abundance of juvenile fishery species; assessment of bathymetric highs as nursery habitat of newly settled red snapper in the northwest Gulf of Mexico; genetic analysis of the stock structure of wahoo in the western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; turtle excluder device (TED) and bycatch (BRD) reduction device technology transfer to the shrimp industry; and validation of ages for species of the deepwater snapper/grouper complex off the southeast U.S.


Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Office - Regional or Local Office: Scot Plank, State/Federal Liaison Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, 263 13th Ave.

South, St.

Petersburg, FL 33701.

Telephone: (727) 824-5324.

Use the same number for FTS.


Kenneth L.

Beal, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Regional Office, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.

Telephone: (978) 281- 9267.


Program Accomplishments

Recent accomplishments include: using high-technology underwater video cameras to fine tune bycatch reduction devices in shrimp trawl nets; development of a horseshoe crab management program in South Carolina as a result of reproductive biology research; and delineation of important nursery habitat for red snapper in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Numerous multi-year projects were funded in the out years that reduced the level of funding for new cooperative agreements in FY 06.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds can be used to develop harvest methods, economic analyses of fisheries, processing methods, fish stock assessment and fish stock enhancement.

Projects are restricted to the fisheries in the Southeast Region including the U. S. Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic beginning with North Carolina, South Carolina to Florida.

Funds are not used for loans.

Also, projects in the coastal New England States will be considered.

In the Northeast, project priorities have varied during the first two years of funding availability.

During Fiscal Year 1999, the area of emphasis was new methods or techniques to improve the ability of scientists to identify the stock structure of selected species of fish and shellfish to improve fisheries management.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

States or local governments, universities, private enterprise, individuals or any other entity, nonprofit or otherwise, if such entity is a citizen of the United States within the meaning of Section 2 of the Shipping Act, 1916, as amended, 46 U.S.C.


Beneficiary Eligibility

Federal, State and local governments, universities, private enterprise, nonprofit or profit organizations, and the general public.


Applications must include resumes of qualifications and experience of the principal investigators. They are expected to demonstrate expertise in the proposed area of study.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is covered under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Proposals are submitted through Grants.Gov. Applicants will need to enter the Funding Opportunity Number and/or CFDA number to access the application package and instructions. Application package will then be submitted directly to the (Name of your Office - Example Coastal Services Center). Proposals are subject to the requirements of 15 CFR Parts 14 and 24, as applicable.

Award Procedures

Proposals will be reviewed, evaluated and ranked by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The ranking is divided into two groups; (a) recommended; and (b) not recommended. They are then presented to a panel of fishery experts and to the MARFIN Panel. The Panel will individually submit their funding recommendations to the Regional Administrator of the appropriate Region. The Regional Administrator in consultation with the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries will determine funding availability and select the projects to be funded. The selected proposals will be reviewed and negotiated by the appropriate Regional Office and the assigned Technical Monitor. A complete application will be forwarded to the NOAA Grants Officer for approval and award.


Deadlines are published in the annual Federal Register or contact either the NMFS Southeast Regional Office or the NMFS Northeast Regional Office.


Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. 753a; Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1854(e); Saltonstall-Kennedy Act, 15 U.S.C. 713 c-3(d).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Successful applicants will be selected generally within 180 days. Awards will be made normally within 240 days after the date of publication of the Federal Register.




Multi-year awards of up to three years may be approved. Once awarded, multi-year projects will not compete for funding in subsequent years. Funding for multi-year projects beyond the first year is contingent upon the availability of program funds in subsequent fiscal years, and the extent to which the recipient meets project objectives and reporting requirements.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Cost-sharing is not required under this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The money must be spent during the award period. Funds are released in advance or by reimbursement, as agreed to in the Standard Terms and Conditions document required for each grant.

Post Assistance Requirements


Semi-annual progress and financial reports are due six months after the start date of the award.

Progress reports should summarize all work accomplished during the six months following the start date of the award and the financial reports should reflect the use of funds.

A final report is due 90 days after completion of the project.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003); Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations; nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of grantees or sub grantees are required to be retained for 3 years from the date of the final financial status report for each award.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $2,500,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$21,185 to $374,372. Average: $64,282.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

A description of MARFIN activities is available and published in an "Annual Report." A copy may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office. There is no funding history in the Northeast Region prior to FY 1998. Allowable cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular A-87 for State and local governments and Indian Tribes; OMB Circular A-122 for nonprofit and for-profit organizations; OMB Circular A-21 for institutions of higher education; and 48 CFR Part 31 for commercial organizations. Financial assistance management will be in accordance with 15 CFR Part 14 for institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit and commercial organizations, and with 15 CRF Part 24 for state and local governments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Regional or Local Office: Scot Plank, State/Federal Liaison Office, National Marine Fisheries Service, 263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Telephone: (727) 824-5324. Use the same number for FTS. Email: Kenneth L. Beal, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Regional Office, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Telephone: (978) 281- 9267. E-mail:

Headquarters Office

Not applicable.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Priority in program emphasis will be placed upon funding projects that have the greatest probability of recovering, maintaining, improving, or developing fisheries, improving our understanding of factors affecting recruitment success, generating increased values from fisheries, and generating increased recreational opportunity and harvest potential. Projects will be evaluated as to the likelihood of achieving these benefits through both short-term and long-term research projects with consideration of the magnitude of the eventual economic benefit that may be realized.

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