Sea Grant announces funding opportunity for highly migratory species research

Primary tabs

Monday, April 22, 2019 - 1:00pm


sailfish underwater with a school of smaller fishThe National Sea Grant College Program announces a funding opportunity for highly migratory species research.

Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS), which include tunas, billfish, and sharks, are important to both the ecological health of ocean ecosystems and to commercial and recreational fisheries. However, knowledge gaps in the life history, biology, and population status of many of these species limit understanding and the ability to sustainably manage these species. Populations of HMS and the coastal communities that rely on the health of these important fish stocks could greatly benefit from improved, science-based management and conservation.

As part of the FY 2019 Appropriations Bill for NOAA, Congress directed the National Sea Grant College Program to spend up to $2 million to initiate a HMS research initiative focused on HMS species in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, including the interactions between yellow-fin tuna and oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. This direction, and priorities identified in the 2014 Atlantic HMS Management-Based Research Needs and Priorities document developed by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service in concert with industry and management stakeholders, was used to develop this initiative that will support research to address critical gaps in knowledge about HMS in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean regions. 

Proposals should address one or more of the following priorities:

  1. Examining the impact of offshore oil platforms and other Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) on the biology and behavior of HMS, such as yellowfin tuna
  2. Providing post-release mortality estimates for HMS in commercial and/or recreational fisheries
  3. Improving HMS stock structure and life history (e.g., age, growth, reproduction) information
  4. Providing life stage distribution and habitat utilization of HMS 
  5. Examining the efficacy of existing or new bycatch reduction techniques for HMS

The National Sea Grant Office anticipates awarding up to five projects totaling up to $2 million in FY 2019. Awarded projects must have a maximum duration of two years.

Highly Migratory Species Research Initiative

NOAA-OAR-SG-2019-2006046 (Federal Funding Opportunity Number)

Eligibility: Open to any individual, any public or private corporation, partnership, or other association or entity (including any Sea Grant College, Sea Grant Institute or other institution); or any State, political subdivision of a State, Tribal government or agency or officer thereof. We encourage cooperative applicant teams that integrate diverse sectors, including industry, academia, and other groups, as appropriate and encourage the integration of extension and/or communications professionals who will help ensure that research results are conveyed and applied by stakeholders. Federal agencies and their personnel are not permitted to receive federal funding under this competition; however, federal scientists and other employees can serve as uncompensated partners or co-Principal Investigators on applications. Federal labs and offices can also make available specialized expertise, facilities or equipment to applicants but cannot be compensated under this competition for their use, nor can the value of such assets be used as match.

Match Requirement: Non-federal matching funds equal to at least 50% of the federal funding request must be provided unless a waiver justified by statute is granted.

View this FFO in

Informational Webinar:

The National Sea Grant Office (NSGO) will host a webinar providing an overview of this funding opportunity and its application process. The webinar will include a presentation and provide an opportunity to ask questions that you may have about applying to the announcement.

Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EDT

This webinar has passed but the presentation slides are available here.

Webinar accessibility: If you would like a plain text version of the presentation sent to you ahead of time, or would like the NSGO to provide live captioning of this event or require any other special assistance to participate in this webinar, please email Brooke Carney ( at least 24 hours ahead of the scheduled start time of the webinar. For more information on Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, please visit