South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Seminar Series Archive

This Seminar Series features presentations on scientific studies relevant to fisheries in federal waters of the South Atlantic. The seminars are conducted via webinar and are open to members of the public. The presentations are also recorded for later viewing. The presentations are for informational purposes only and no management actions are taken.

The seminars are held the second Tuesday of each month from 1 to 2:30 PM (eastern time zone) except for months with Council meetings (March, June, September, December). Registration for each webinar is required. Following the presentation, members of the public have an opportunity to participate in the discussion.

If you have a suggestions for a topic, please email Dr. Chip Collier at


A Citizen-science Approach to Characterize Shark Depredation in Recreational Fisheries

This presentation will address depredation, defined as the partial or complete removal of a target species by a non-target species.  Depredation is an increasingly topical human-wildlife conflict worldwide. Effectively managing and mitigating depredation requires a comprehensive characterization of the interaction; however, our current understanding of depredation is limited. Thus, the goals of this project were to combine content analysis, angler surveys, and molecular tools to characterize depredation in Florida’s recreational hook and line fishery. 

Incorporating Video into the Southeast Reef Fish Survey

Nate Bacheler, National Marine Fisheries Service – Southeast Fishery Science Center, will present on incorporating video into the Southeast Reef Fish Survey: methods, relative abundance, and applied research. The presentation will (1) describe why and how underwater video was included in a long-term trap survey along the southeast US Atlantic continental shelf, (2) review video-based trends in relative abundance trends for a number of economically important reef-fish species, and (3) detail two acoustic tracking studies (gray triggerfish and red snapper) to help us understand fish behavior around baited sampling gears. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. Members of the public will have the opportunity to participate in the discussion. The presentation is for informational purposes only and no management actions will be taken.

FISHstory, Using Citizen Science to Describe Historic Catches

FISHstory is a citizen science pilot project to analyze historical photographs from the for-hire industry before many recreational data collection systems were in place.  The talk will focus on describing the catch from the historical photographs, the technique used to estimate lengths of king mackerel in the photos, and lessons learned during the pilot project. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

Using Mobile Apps to Practice Citizen Science in Fisheries

The Council will host a presentation from Angler’s Atlas, a digital platform that has been collecting fisheries data from anglers since 2018 through its mobile application MyCatch. The talk will focus on three important elements of a successful citizen science strategy: techniques that motivate anglers to report their catches, methods to evaluate the quality of the data collected, and ways self-reported citizen science data may address research and management issues. Learning from other programs can help to improve ongoing and future SAFMC’s Citizen Science projects.   

Managing Multi-Species Fisheries: Insight from the Pacific Groundfish Fishery

As part of the continuing informational webinar series, the Council will host a presentation from the Pacific Fishery Management Council on management of groundfish species, including more than 65 rock fish species; flatfish, such as petrale sole and Dover sole; and groundfish, such as sablefish and Pacific whiting (hake). Management of the Pacific groundfish fishery has addressed issues similar to those identified in managing the multi-species Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Complex within the South Atlantic region.

Deepwater Marine Protected Areas in the South Atlantic Region

This presentation from NOAA Fisheries provides insight on research conducted within the Deepwater Marine Protected Areas designated in the South Atlantic region, including impacts of the protected areas based on data collected from remotely operated vehicles over the past 17 years by NOAA Fisheries Southeast Fisheries Science Center. During their research scientists were able to document fish abundances before and after implementation of fishing restrictions, comparing protected and unprotected areas. They were also able to examine the effects of Lionfish on reef community structure along the south Atlantic shelf break and compare natural and artificial habitats to illuminate deep-water grouper habitats.

Working Waterfront Infrastructure

For this seminar, the Council hosted a presentation from Georgia Southern University on working waterfronts in Georgia. The presentation described available fishing infrastructure in Georgia and the industry members utilizing that infrastructure. Information for the project was collected through a census of historic and current industry infrastructure, case studies, spatial analysis, a survey of seafood industry participants, and in-depth interviews.


Changes in Red Porgy Distribution and Habitat Use off the Southeast U.S. Atlantic Coast

Dr. Tracy Smart with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources provides an overview of distributional and habitat use changes of Red Porgy along the South Atlantic coast.  These changes in distribution or habitat could prevent the Red Porgy stock from recovering despite having a rebuilding plan in place.  Based on data collected through a long-term fishery independent monitoring program, there is overlap between adult and juvenile life stages; however, juveniles tend to prefer shallower water.  Also, juvenile recruitment seems to be less abundant in the extreme parts of their range.

ICCAT Bluefin Tuna Management Strategy Evaluation and Management Procedures

Dr. John Walter with NOAA Fisheries provides a presentation on the development of a management strategy evaluation for ICCAT Bluefin Tuna. The Council is considering developing a management strategy evaluation (MSE) for the Snapper Grouper Fishery and NOAA Fisheries is considering developing one for the Dolphin Wahoo fishery.  This presentation is a primer on management strategies evaluations and how they can be developed and used in management of South Atlantic fisheries.

Release Mortality Estimation of South Atlantic Reef Fishes

Dr. Brendan Runde, NOAA Fisheries Post Doc, provides a presentation estimating release mortality for South Atlantic reef fishes (snapper grouper species).  Release mortality is a significant concern in the South Atlantic region where a substantial number of snapper grouper species are released and barotrauma, depredation, and other factors can limit the survival of released fish.  Dr. Runde discusses release mortality for several species including Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish,  Deepwater Groupers, and Red Snapper.

Dolphin Wahoo Participatory Workshops

Drs. Mandy Karnauskas and Matt McPherson, NOAA Fisheries, provide a description of the Dolphin and Wahoo fishery based on participatory workshops held with stakeholders from North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.  The researchers met with fishermen to discuss key factors that influence the fishery and identify major concerns and important values for the stakeholders.  The fishermen emphasized the social and economic dimensions of the fishery over biological stock drivers.  Sub-regional and species differences were observed based on the linkages developed during the workshops.  Two key differences between the areas were the number of species available to target and the lack of large Dolphin in south Florida.  The researchers focused on the Dolphin abundance change and developed potential explanations.

Gut Check- What Is DNA Barcoding Telling Us About What Red Snapper Are Really Eating?

In this seminar, Kevin Spanik with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, describes his research on DNA Barcoding of Red Snapper gut contents. DNA barcoding is a genetic technique that can identify decomposed prey in a predators stomach.  Mr. Spanik describes the prey of Red Snapper of the coast of the Georgia and Carolinas.  In this study, Red Snapper diet primarily consisted of bony fishes, crabs, and shrimps. There was very little consumption of other species managed by the Council with the exception of porgy (Stenotomous sp.).


Dolphinfish Research Program

Dr. Wessley Mertin with the Dolphinfish Research Program provides a description of this long-term Dolphinfish tagging program.  The Dolphinfish Research Program has been tagging fish since 2002.  Tagging occurs by volunteers throughout the Atlantic Ocean with most tags deployed in the South Atlantic region and some satellite tags have been deployed.  Based on the tagging information, Dolphinfish movements were developed as well as daily traveling distances.  Dr. Mertin also describes many challenges facing the Dolphin fishery.