Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund 2014 Request for Proposals


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will award grants to address overfishing in fisheries that contribute to the U.S. seafood supply, through investments in Fishery Improvement Projects worldwide.  We anticipate awarding $220,000.00 through this solicitation.

The priority fishery for this funding opportunity is the spiny lobster trap fishery in Honduras. 

The Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund (FIP Fund) was created through a partnership with Darden Restaurants and the Walton Family Foundation.


International fisheries contribute 85% of the product in the U.S. seafood market.  Many of these fisheries are overfishedone of the biggest threats to the global seafood supply.  It is estimated that more than 400 Fishery Improvement Projects are needed to meet buyer demand for sustainable seafood supply.

The first grant opportunity under the Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund will focus on the spiny lobster fishery in Honduras.  This fishery is worth nearly $50 million in annual exports to the U.S. and provides direct employment to more than 4,000 people from coastal communities.  Despite its economic importance, however, national management strategies and fisheries governance need to be improved before it can be considered sustainable.

Developed as an official CGI Commitment to Action with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Walton Family Foundation and Darden Restaurants created the FIP Fund.  The Fund will leverage philanthropic, industry and government resources to help develop and advance Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) worldwide.  The FIP Fund will expand its focus to additional fisheries as partnerships and resources become available.


Proposals submitted to the Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund should address one of the following:

1.      Monitoring/Reporting: Projects to establish and implement tools and strategies for data collection and monitoring of fishing activity, using data for management, enforcement and traceability purposes (e.g. observers, spatial data, etc.).  Examples include projects that aim to:

a.       Complete a stock assessment and fishery management plan for the spiny lobster trap and artisanal fisheries, defining key concepts regarding overfishing, harvest rules, and transparency in the decision-making process to improve productivity.

b.      Develop a monitoring protocol to establish baseline information on impacts on habitat, non-target species and improved social welfare.

c.       Implement catch reporting systems, including providing training to fishermen on how to accurately record and report catch, and providing any necessary incentives to fishermen to comply with reporting regulations.

d.      Work with local buyers and other supply chain participants to implement a traceability system that distinguishes trap-caught from dive-caught lobsters.


2.      Improved Management: Projects to assist and promote the bottom-up development and implementation of appropriate management and governance strategies for the area.  Examples include projects that aim to:

a.       Support the creation of a safe and sustainable exclusive-use artisanal fishery.

b.      Integrate fishery management, habitat management, and ecosystem management strategies.

c.       Develop measures to mitigate retention of undersized or berried females, incursion into MPAs, over quota catch and poaching, and closed season fishing. 

d.      Acquire and distribute the traps best suited for use in the coral reefs, sea grass beds, and shallow water habitats where the artisanal fishery takes place, and provide incentives to fishermen for their use.


3.      Community Capacity Building: Projects to assist the participation and accountability of spiny lobster fishing communities in implementing sustainable fishing practices.  Examples include projects that aim to:

a.       Strengthen the management of fishing cooperatives and associations.

b.      Promote fishermen exchanges to learn best management practices for fishing association management.

c.       Provide business training to fishing groups or individual fishery participants to streamline business practices for increased profitability.

d.      Create market access for product.


4.      Enforcement: Projects to improve and increase enforcement capacity.  Examples include projects that aim to:

a.       Improve/increase surveillance of fishing areas.

b.      Develop and implement systems to curb illegal fishing.

c.       Provide adequate training to enforcement officials.


All persons, organizations, and agencies (excluding employees of the U.S. Federal Government) working on improving the spiny lobster fishery in Honduras.

Applications for funding for land or easement acquisition, facility construction, political advocacy, lobbying, or litigation will not be considered.

Grant Size

The majority of awards under this program will fall in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. However, upper or lower limits to award size are not specified.

Matching Contributions

Matching contributions (both cash and in-kind) are preferred but not required. However, applicants are encouraged to seek out matching funds because these grant proposals may be more competitive. Applicants will be prompted to include information on other sources of funding for the project in the application section entitled “Matching Contributions.”

Grant Period

Projects may run for up to two years.

Application Guidelines

The following guidelines will be used by NFWF, and an advisory team of experts, to evaluate applications requesting support from the FIP Fund.  Final decisions on awards will be made solely by NFWF.

All applicants are required to submit a proposal with the following information. Failure to follow the length and formatting guidelines will result in disqualification of the application.


The application narrative should provide all relevant detail on background, objectives, methodology, strategies, results, etc.  A template will be provided.  The document should not exceed 6 pages in length, single-spaced with 12-point type, and should address the following (in no particular order):

a.       Priority Addressed – List which of the four priorities will be addressed by your proposal (see “Priorities” above).

b.      Activities – Elaborate on the primary activities that will be employed through the grant.  Explain how these activities are expected to lead to the outcome(s).  Describe how these activities relate to established plans (management, conservation, recovery, etc.) and priority conservation needs in the specific project location.

c.       Outcome – Elaborate on the outcome(s) expected; discuss what makes this outcome(s) achievable and important. 

d.      Tracking Metrics – Indicate how the project will monitor/assess progress on the metrics you will select, and outline your monitoring plan to capture these results.  Please note any challenges or limitations anticipated with tracking the metrics. 

e.       Project Team – List key individuals and describe their qualifications relevant for project implementation. 

f.       Other (Optional) – Provide any further information important for the review of this proposal. Project site maps and letters of support are strongly preferred but not required.


A budget form will be provided to help the applicant outline in sufficient detail the costs by general category, including salaries, travel, major equipment and supplies, publication costs, and sub-contracts.


For multi-year or multi-stage projects, include a timetable for completion of each phase as a means of gauging progress toward completion of the full proposed effort. Insert the timeline in the “uploads” section of the online application.

Short Biography, Project Team Qualifications 

Applications should include a short biography of no more than one page each for key members of the proposal team. Key members are those individuals whose unique background and experience are essential to completion of the project. Insert biographies in the “uploads” section of the online application.

Maps, Letters of Support, and other Supporting Materials

Additional supporting materials such as maps can be included in the “uploads” section of the submission. Applicants also can attach letters of support to their full proposal. These can be particularly relevant in cases of multi-jurisdictional, political, or institutional projects when the proposed work will rely on the data or actions of a third party. However, supplemental materials should be limited to information absolutely essential to understanding the significance, approach, and context of the proposed work. These may be inserted in the “uploads” section of the online application.

If relevant, applicants will be required to provide proof of all necessary permits and clearances to comply with any international regulations or relevant national or local ordinances.

Application Process

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation uses an online grants system called Easygrants for the application process. Organizations interested in applying should submit a Full Proposal using the Easygrants system. Applicants can find information about the grant application process, including proposal templates, at 

NFWF will host a one-hour Webinar for applicants on December 19th at 3pm EST, to provide guidance for applicants on funding priorities and on submitting proposals through Easygrants. To participate, email Mary Beth Charles at

This funding opportunity will open on December 12, 2013. Applicants should visit and register as a new user (unless you have previously applied to NFWF in the Easygrants system under a different funding opportunity) and then follow the instructions below.

  1. Under “Apply for a New Grant”, click the “Start a New Application” link. Select the Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund 2014 funding opportunity.

  2. Follow the instructions to complete an eligibility quiz and, if deemed eligible, a Full Proposal.

Full proposals must be submitted by January 31, 2014.  Upon receipt and competitive evaluation of the Full Proposal, NFWF will determine grant awards.  Awards for this program are scheduled to be announced in April 2014.

For further information on the program or completing the application, please contact Mary Beth Charles ( or 202-595-2445); or Anthony Chatwin ( or 202-857-0166).


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