South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Dolphin Wahoo Participatory Workshops

The SAFMC is responsible for the management of Dolphin and Wahoo along the entire U.S. Atlantic coast from Key West, Florida through the state of Maine. Throughout this jurisdictional region there are different perceptions on the state of the fishery. In recent years, Council efforts have focused more on the management of this fishery with the development of Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 10 and the Council prioritizing the development of future amendments. Although these species support very important fisheries there are limited data to inform management decisions. This led NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) to collaborate with the SAFMC on a series of participatory workshops to gather information on this fishery. Photo Credit: Dino Barone.

Workshop Goal

To increase communication between scientists, managers, and fishermen to better understand the Dolphin Wahoo fishery in the Atlantic.


Develop participatory conceptual models of the Dolphin Wahoo fishery in North Carolina/Virginia and South Florida. These models would:

  • Map the system of key factors that affect the fishery
  • Identify major concerns, values, and preferred objectives related to the fishery and ecosystem
  • Develop hypotheses on how changes in the system affect the fishery, businesses, and communities
  • Identify key questions and information gaps
North Carolina/Virginia

In-person workshops were held in March 2020 in three locations: Beaufort, NC; Wanchese, NC, and Virginia Beach, VA.

South Florida

In-person workshops were originally scheduled in South Florida in the summer of 2020. These workshops were postponed due to COVID-19 and a decision was made in early 2021 to move to a virtual format. One on one phone calls were conducted in March 2021 and a group webinar was held in April 2021.


SEFSC: Mandy Karnauskas (lead), Matt McPherson (lead), Skyler Sagarese, Scott Crosson, Kevin Craig, Cassidy Peterson, & Anthony Mastitski

SAFMC: John Hadley & Julia Byrd

Marine Recreational Education Program & Gulf of Maine Research Institute

All of the fishermen & community participants!


Project leads, Mandy and Matt, presented this research as part of the SAFMC seminar series. Check out the link below to view the webinar recording. The recording is bookmarked so you can easily navigate to different sections within the presentation.

Additionally, presentations were given at various stages during the project’s implementation including the April 2021 SAFMC Socio-econonmic Panel meeting; the Fall 2020 Dolphin Wahoo Advisory Panel meeting; and the June 2020 SAFMC meeting

Findings and Reports

Dolphin Wahoo Participatory Workshops Final Report

Interactive conceptual models of the Dolphin Wahoo fishery developed for each of the regions are available at the links below: