Deadline For applications February 12, 2016,
6:00 p.m. eastern standard time
proposal application period is
Point of Contact: Andrew Loftus
Collaborative Research Funding Coordinator
Mid-Atlantic Collaborative Fisheries Research
LAST UPDATED January
The following is a summary of
questions received and responses regarding the Request for Proposals issued
by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for the Mid-Atlantic
Fishery Management Council 2016-2017 Collaborative Fisheries Research
Posted chronologically – most
Q. What is the mechanism for making project awards – contracts or
A. Awards will be a contract
between the successful applicant and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission for specified deliverables of research results.
Q. Is there a disadvantage to organizations from outside the
Mid-Atlantic region submitting a proposal even though the project fits
under the priorities and involves constituents from the Mid-Atlantic?
A. Proposals will be judged on
the definable outcomes that are proposed to meet the objectives of one of
the seven listed priorities, with special consideration given to proposals
involving constituents in the Mid-Atlantic region. There is no inherent
advantage or disadvantage to project applicants from outside of the region
who submit sound proposals meeting the conditions outlined in the RFP.
Q. Is there a predetermined distribution of funds between
A. There is no predetermined
distribution of funds between priorities. Funding will be distributed to
maximize the achievement of the objectives across priorities and is highly
dependent on the quality and number of proposals received. More than one
project may be funded under each priority.
Q. How will funding decisions be made?
A. Proposals will be reviewed
for technical merit by staff of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management
Council. All proposals will then be
forwarded to the MAFMC Collaborative Research Committee for final decisions
based on the criteria outline in the RFP.
Q: In Priority 1, what does “Projects which investigate calibration
of an industry vessel relative to the NEFSC trawl survey will be
A: This statement is intended to
emphasize that projects which can draw a quantitative comparison to the
catch, and composition of the catch, of commercially applied trawl gear to data
collected through the Northeast Fisheries Science Center trawl surveys are
likely to receive a better ranking than projects that do not. Such a
comparison would make fishery dependent data collected through commercial
trawl fisheries more applicable and complimentary to data collected through
existing research trawl surveys.
Q. Priority 1: Would a project that utilized a gear not currently
used by U.S. commercial vessels to compare to NEFSC trawl data be eligible?
A. Not likely. The intent of
this priority is to use industry vessels to investigate the efficiency of
the NEFSC survey gear and identify biases or inaccuracies in survey
data, provide correction factors to
improve the usability of the data, and prioritize projects that could draw
direct comparisons to commercial trawl gear (calibration) so that data from
commercial vessels in the fishery could be better utilized in the stock
assessments to supplement the NEFSC survey
Q. Is there a cap on the amount of indirect
costs that can be applied?
A. There is a 25% cap on
the percentage of funds that can be allocated to cover indirect costs,
sometimes referred to as Facilities and Administrative costs. Indirect
costs must be listed as a separate line item in the budget. Applicants are
encouraged to keep indirect costs to a minimum.
Q. Are special permits necessary for
What if the proposed research project requires collecting fish
out-of-season, fishing in restricted areas, or using gear not currently
approved for the fishery?
participating in this program must obtain the appropriate vessel
documentation consistent with experimental fishing regulations at 50 CFR
600.745 and 50 CFR 648.12. Vessels conducting certain types of research
activities that require relief from fishery regulations may be required to
obtain an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) or other permit. If an exemption
from Federal regulations is proposed, a list of the specific regulations to
be exempted and a brief justification for each regulation to be exempted
must be included in the proposal. Should an applicant submit a request for
an EFP to NMFS, the completed application should be received by NMFS at
least 60 days before the requested start date of the proposed research. EFP
application guidance is available from the Sustainable Fisheries Division,
Greater Atlantic Regional Office and in the Research Documentation Guidance
document, available at:
funding can be made while the permit process is being completed, but no
funds will be disbursed until evidence of such permit is provided. All
landings made under these permits, for sale or research, must be reported
per the instructions provided by NMFS. It is the responsibility of the
project sponsor/principal investigator to be aware of the need for any
permits and obtain them through appropriate channels!
Q. Are ASMFC
Commissioners and MAFMC Council Members prevented from submitting
Commissioners can submit proposals; Individual MAFMC Council Members cannot
since the deliberative body making the recommendations for funding is a
committee of the Council. This restriction was put in place to reduce real
or perceived conflicts of interest. However, all organizations, even if
they employ Commissioners or Council Members (except federal organizations),
are eligible to submit proposals. State agencies, NGO’s, universities, and
private companies for which ASMFC Commissioners or MAFMC Council Members
work can apply for funding as well as others(consult RFP).
Q. Although federal agencies or federal employees
are not eligible for funding, can they still be part of a funded project?
A. Federal employees/entities may participate in research
projects but may not receive any funds provided under this program. Since
the program funding originates with federal dollars no dollars can then
flow back to the federal government for salaries or federal expenses. It
would be perfectly legitimate for federal entities to partner with an
eligible entity (university, NGO, etc.) with grant funds supporting that
entity and federal employees contributing labor, additional expenses, etc.
Federal support should be identified in the proposal as “in kind” or
“outside funding support.”
Q. Regarding priority #5 (Determine mesh selectivity for summer flounder and/or black sea
bass), does this refer to fishery trawls, research trawls, or fishery
traps (for black sea bass)?
A. The intent of
priority #5 is to focus on selectivity of commercial trawl gear. While the
committee may give consideration to a well-developed proposal that addresses
black sea bass trap configurations, priority will be given to projects
which focus on commercial trawl gear.
Q. Do I have to report my data?
A. All projects should
expect to report results within 45 days of the conclusion of the project. Presentation
(in-person or remote) to the MAFMC should be expected. Successful projects
that are designed to generate data that will ultimately be merged with
other governmental databases will be required to submit the data in
electronic form in accordance with protocols of the Atlantic Coastal
Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) and/or other appropriate database
Q: You haven’t included a species or fishery
for which additional research is needed. Will you consider proposals for
items other than those listed in the RFP?
A. No. The MAFMC
Collaborative Research Committee has evaluated and prioritized research
needs for the 2016-2017 funding cycle, resulting in the priorities listed
in the RFP. Projects falling outside of the scope of these priorities will
not be considered. However, we encourage you to raise the need for
additional research through the appropriate MAFMC species committee for
possible inclusion in future RFP’s.