Apply: Funding for New Tech for Sustainable Fisheries

Schmidt Marine Technology Partners will offer up to $3.5 million in funding annually to entrepreneurs and others developing new technologies that increase the sustainability of fisheries around the world. The effort is also being funded by two anonymous philanthropic groups.

Fishing, fisheries science and fisheries conservation are rife with conflict, controversy and complications. But fisheries can become more sustainable with new and improved tools, ranging from new types of fishing gear or gear improvements to new methods of gathering fisheries-related data to the application of existing tools in new ways. 

Schmidt Marine funds groups at a variety of stages, but prioritizes support to projects in the earliest stages of development, when funding is most difficult to obtain. Schmidt Marine traditionally commits to fund a project for several years until it has reached financial stability through traditional investment or contracts and sales.  Individual grants typically range from $100,000 to $500,000 per year, and to date the program has funded more than 60 technologies focused on ocean health.  

Though other ideas will be considered, the primary focus will be on:

  • New or improved methods and tools for fisheries data collection, especially those enabling fisheries stock assessments. Of particular interest are technologies that offer the potential for low-cost, reliable and efficient deployment, even in remote areas.
  • Creative methods and new collaborations to substantially expand capabilities for analyzing fisheries data sets to increase the sustainability of fisheries through reduction of overfishing, prevention of illegal fishing or creation of premium sustainable markets.
  • Fishing gear or gear modifications that reduce bycatch, derelict gear and/or habitat destruction, or that increase fishermen safety or the survival rates of discarded catch. Such technologies should offer benefits to fishermen or other characteristics that open plausible paths for adoption.
  • Tools that enable improved fishing ground and protected area monitoring to prevent situations where good players are penalized and illegal players profit.

Schmidt Marine’s goal is to connect with groups already working in these areas, or on technologies that might be repurposed as solutions to fisheries problems.

Members of an advisory panel and additional outside experts will review proposals. The ideas that will rank highest will be market-based solutions that are impressively creative but also economically viable, reflecting a clear understanding of the barriers to, and opportunities for, wide voluntary adoption.

Details about how to apply for the new funding initiative are available at:

Initial applications are due by May 20, 2022. Applications are welcome from any country.

Recipients of the funding will be announced in November 2022.  

Leave a Reply