Fisheries Management and Law Enforcement

FWC law enforcement officers

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council recognizes the important role that law enforcement plays in the management of marine resources.  While the Council does not have any enforcement authority, it does work closely with both state and federal law enforcement agencies when considering the implementation of fisheries regulations.  The Council’s Law Enforcement Advisory Panel provides recommendations and guidance regarding enforcement issues associated with fisheries regulations and habitat protection.

The Council also recognizes the limitations of law enforcement agencies in patrolling and enforcing regulations in federal waters, ranging from 3 to 200 miles off the southeastern coast.  NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to enforce federal regulations.  In addition, Joint Enforcement Agreements (JEAs) allow state marine resource law enforcement personnel to share jurisdictional authority with federal agencies, and has helped with funding for these partnerships. However, the best line of defense in protecting marine resources remains self-compliance and reporting law enforcement violations to local and federal agencies.


USCG BluefinTo Report Violations: 

NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline:

NC Division of Marine Fisheries
Information: 252/726-7021
Report state violations: 1-800/682-2632 (NC Only)

SC DNR – Marine Resources Division
Information: 843/953-9300
Report state violations: 1-800/922-5431

GA DNR – Wildlife Resources Division
Information: 912/264-7218
Report state violations: 1-800/241-4113

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Information: 850/487-0554
Wildlife Alert Reward Program: 1-888/404-FWCC (3922) or online
Cell phone: *FWC