South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Best Fishing Practices Master Volunteer Program

Make a difference in your snapper grouper fishery and become a BFP MVP! 



Regulatory measures combined with growing fishing efforts in the South Atlantic snapper grouper fishery, particularly from the recreational sector, have led to a drastic increase in the number of non-target snapper and grouper species that must be released. Due to the multispecies nature of the snapper grouper fishery, it is common for non-target species to be caught and released due to regulatory or other reasons, while fishing for other species. The increase in releases has led to an increase in the number of fish that do not survive after being caught and released. Large numbers of released fish limit the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s (SAFMC) ability to prevent overfishing and reduce the number of fish that can be sustainably landed by the fishery. 

The SAFMC Best Fishing Practices (BFP) campaign is focused on increasing survivorship within the snapper grouper fishery. The Best Fishing Practices Master Volunteer Program (BFP MVP) will train volunteers to become experts in BFP and encourage them to train others in their fishing community.  

Goals and Objectives of BFP MVP:

  1. Expand reach by empowering key members of the fishing community to spread the best fishing practices message and methods on SAFMC’s behalf.
  2. Increase awareness and use of all best fishing practices when releasing fish, specifically snapper grouper species exhibiting signs of barotrauma. 
  3. Increase SAFMC’s regular interaction with stakeholders that will grow involvement in fisheries management. 

Workshop Components

While SAFMC staff will cover various subjects, this workshop is intended to be conversational and will have discussions on sharing the presented information and bettering outreach in South Atlantic fishing communities. 

  1. Best Fishing Practices
    1. General practices 
    2. Barotrauma 
    3. Venting tools and descending devices 
  2. Getting Involved
    1. SAFMC’s Citizen Science Program and projects 
    2. Regional Fishery Management Councils 
    3. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council 
    4. Advisory panels, public comment, and the Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) 
  3. State Agency Efforts (if applicable)

Upcoming Workshops

All workshops are 6:00 pm-8:00 pm unless otherwise noted. 

April 25th: Charleston, SC

DNR Outdoor Classroom, 412-418 Fort Johnson Rd, Charleston, SC 29412 

May 7th: Myrtle Beach, SC

Bass Pro Shops Classroom, 10177 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 

May 8th: Okatie, SC

Port Royal Maritime Center, 310 Okatie Hwy, Okatie, SC 29909 

May 29th: Savannah, GA

Georgia Southern Univ. Armstrong Center Room #151, 13040 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31419

Future workshops:

Timing and locations are tentative and may change.  

  • August and September: Florida (Miami, Keys, St. Augustine) 
  • November: North Carolina (Wilmington, Morehead City, Raleigh)