Alaska Sea Grant selects eight critical research projects for funding



NR: SG-2013/NR253

One of the proposed research projects looks at the Southeast Alaska sea otter population boom and its effect on local communities. Photo by Deborah Mercy. Click image for larger version [2400 x 1099 px; 1 MB].

Fairbanks, Alaska—The Alaska Sea Grant program has selected eight new research projects to accomplish over a two-year period. After whittling down the pool of 27 original submissions, a national panel of scholars from outside Alaska conducted the final review. Criteria included rationale, scientific merit, innovativeness and qualifications of the investigators.

“These projects are important to coastal communities in Alaska,” said Ginny Eckert, Alaska Sea Grant associate director for research. “They include partnerships, graduate students and fairly small budgets.”

Project topics include mammal-fishery interactions, the effect of climate change on sockeye salmon and the feasibility of a directed skate fishery. Additionally there are projects on habitat degradation from melting glaciers, the potential impacts of multiyear cold on Bering Sea ecosystems, and a project on the graying of the commercial fishing fleet.

Funding these projects is contingent on Congress passing the requested National Sea Grant 2014–2016 budget.

The portfolio of projects currently funded by Alaska Sea Grant is online and will include new projects once funding is secured.

Funding for these projects comes from the National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For more about the new research projects, see the November issue of Fishlines.

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education, and outreach program, and is a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agents provide assistance that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy marine and coastal resources.