Story by Melissa Schneider, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.
The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) is accepting proposal submissions to estimate the abundance of greater amberjack in the U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico (GoMEX) and South Atlantic (SA) regions. Proposal instructions are available in the funding request.
This funding opportunity is to develop additional data sources, assessment approaches and knowledge to improve agency and agency-independent estimates of the abundance of greater amberjack throughout the greater amberjack’s range. The successful applicant(s) will determine the absolute abundance of the greater amberjack by habitat type, including artificial reefs, natural reefs and unclassified habitats.
MASGC anticipates funding one or more proposal(s). The total funding available for the competition is $9 million plus a non-federal match requirement of $2.7 million (30%). Funds for this research competition are provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
The principal investigator (PI) of a proposal must be located at a research university located within a coastal state extending from Virginia to Texas. Co-investigators, including state agencies, non-governmental organizations and the fishing industry, may be in any U.S. region. Federal partners may also participate as uncompensated collaborators.
MASGC encourages applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran status types, and income and socioeconomic status types to apply for this competitive research opportunity.
Greater amberjack is an important recreational and commercial species in the GoMEX and SA regions. According to NMFS, the greater amberjack is not overfished and not undergoing overfishing in the SA. However, the GoMEX stock of greater amberjack has been in an overfished state and undergoing overfishing for an extended period of time despite implementing a rebuilding plan.
Given this issue, evidence for regional and sub-regional differences in stock dynamics exists, and biological information on greater amberjack distribution and movement in U.S. waters of the SA and the GoMEX regions is lacking.
A Zoom meeting will be held to discuss this funding opportunity on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, from 1-2:30 p.m. Central Time. Please register for the ZOOM meeting at this link. The meeting will be recorded and posted on the MASGC greater amberjack webpage.
A letter of intent is required to submit a full proposal and is due by 6 p.m. Central Time on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. The proposal submission deadline is 6 p.m. Central Time on Friday, April 9, 2021.