Marine Fisheries Initiative - MARFIN 

MARFIN promotes and endorses programs which seek to optimize economic and social benefits from marine fishery resources through cooperative efforts that evoke the best research and management talents of the Southeast Region. The intent is to focus projects funded by MARFIN into cooperative efforts that provide clear answers for fishery needs covered by the NMFS Strategic Plan. MARFIN provides a necessary programmatic integration through cooperative planning, accomplishment of program activities and an annual MARFIN Conference.

The next step in the evolution of MARFIN was the preparation and publication of the Marine Fisheries Initiative - Gulf of Mexico Phase2. This publication, developed by a joint industry, federal, state, and academic task force, detailed the research and development efforts necessary to enhance, restore, and maintain fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. The program focused on funding projects which had the greatest probability of maintaining and improving existing fisheries, increasing revenues for the domestic industry, increasing yields from fisheries, and generating increased recreational opportunity and harvest potential. Projects were to be selected for funding on their likelihood of achieving these benefits through both short-term and long-term research with consideration of the magnitude of the eventual benefit that might be realized. Both short-term projects yielding immediate benefits and long-term projects were to receive high-priority emphasis. Planning emphasis was placed upon attaining priority goals either through a single project or a series of projects necessary to attain that goal.

In 1992, the MARFIN program was expanded to include a South Atlantic component (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic coast of Florida). The goals and objectives of the South Atlantic Phase of MARFIN are described in Special Report No. 13 of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Marine Fisheries Initiative (MARFIN) South Atlantic Phase3. The Lott-McIlwain paper and the Marine Fisheries Initiative publication were instrumental in gaining public support for the MARFIN program. On December 4, 1985, the conference report of the House and Senate that appropriated funds for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, the judiciary, and related agencies for the fiscal year (FY) ending September 30, 1986, allocated $2,850,000 for the MARFIN Program.

Contact Us

(727) 551 - 5731

Fisheries Grants Program Officer
Kelly Donnelly



Items of interest

FY 2019 MARFIN Federal Funding Opportunity

For information on How to Apply for Federal Grants go to:

MARFIN Panel Directory

Click Here for list of Projects Selected for Funding

Click Here for MARFIN FY2013 and FY2014 Report

Click Here for Conference Reports

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CDFA) provides a full listing of all Federal programs available

Recommended Format for Progress and/or Final Reports:   Semi-Annual Report |  Final Report


  • Office of Representative Trent Lott, Washington, DC; Dr. Thomas D. McIlwain; May 1983
  • Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, P.O. Box 426, Ocean Springs, MS 39564; J.Y. Christman, D.J. Etzold, T.D. McIlwain, L.B.Simpson, Eds. January 1985
  • Special Report No, 13 of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; E.J. Joseph, V.G. Burrell, D.M. Cupka, P.J. Eldridge, August 1988