Council Visioning Project

What is Visioning?

In 2014-2015, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed a long-term "vision" for managing the snapper grouper fishery into the future.

The Council's visioning project consisted of a stakeholder driven process to develop a strategic plan for the fishery with management goals, objectives and strategies to meet each goal for the long-term. Leading up to the Council's Visioning project, the current system of fishery management in the South Atlantic region led many stakeholders to have the perception that management measures being put in place seemed reactionary and focused on an immediate crisis instead of managing fisheries for long-term biological, social and economic success. Stakeholders expressed concerns about this approach and asked the Council for new solutions to address the long-term viability of fisheries in the region.

To meet these needs, the Council initiated a Visioning Project to evaluate and refine current management goals and objectives for managing the snapper grouper fishery. Using a transparent, stakeholder-driven process the Council worked cooperatively to create a long-term vision for the snapper grouper fishery; a vision that is shared between the Council and all stakeholders in the South Atlantic. The SAFMC viewed this as an opportunity to improve stakeholder engagement, make use of the best management tools available, and develop a pro-active plan for the future of the region's snapper grouper fishery.

The Council began reaching out to stakeholders in 2014 through a series of informal port meetings held in 26 communities throughout the region to ask stakeholders,

  • "What was working in the snapper grouper fishery?"
  • "What was not working in the fishery?"
  • "What were some solutions to fixing those issues in the fishery?"

Information from the port meetings helped develop the four strategic goal areas of the Vision Blueprint - Science, Management, Communication, and Governance. Throughout 2014 and 2015, the Council developed specific goals, objectives, strategies, and actions for each goal area and collected extensive public input to craft the blueprint into a long-term plan for the fishery.

In December 2015, after three years of work on the Vision Blueprint, the Council adopted the 2016-2020 Vision Blueprint for the snapper grouper fishery.

Read the 2016-2020 Vision Blueprint and appendices to see how the Council plans to guide management of the snapper grouper fishery over the course of the next several years.

2016-2020 Vision Blueprint for the Snapper Grouper Fishery

Appendix A - Vision Blueprint Implementation Schedule

Appendix B - Full Version of the Vision Blueprint & Glossary

Appendix C - Items Not Considered for 2016-2020

Appendix D - Evaluation Plan for the 2016-2020 Vision Blueprint

Have questions or want to get involved? Contact Cameron Rhodes, Outreach Specialist at or 843.725.7577


2015 Activities  - click to see Visioning Project activities from 2015 including public comment opportunities and the Council's Visioning Workshops.

2014 Activities: The Council held a series of 26 port meetings to collect information about issues and solutions for the snapper grouper fishery directly from stakeholders. Below are the meeting summaries that helped develop the four strategic goal areas for the Vision Blueprint.

Port Meeting Summaries:

North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Florida
Southport Murrells Inlet - #1 Savannah St. Augustine - #1
Shallotte Murrells Inlet - #2 St. Simons Island St. Augustine - #2
Sneads Ferry Charleston Brunswick Titusville - #1
Morehead City Bluffton Shellman Bluff Titusville - #2
Raleigh Shem Creek Stuart
Wanchese Lake Park
Hatteras Key West
Key Largo

Sector Summary - includes a summary of top issues and solutions by sector (commercial, for-hire, recreational, chefs/restaurants, and NGOs)

  • Port Meeting Flyer - Download a copy to post at your dock or business or send out to your fishing club!
  • Port Meeting Schedule - Complete list of port meetings and links to RSVP for a meeting.

SAFMC Visioning Workshops - Briefing Books

In December 2012, the Council started convening Visioning workshops on the Monday morning of each quarterly Council meeting from 9am to 12pm. The workshops provide Council members the opportunity for discussions about the Visioning project and the process for developing a shared vision for the snapper grouper fishery. All workshops are open to the public and can be accessed as they happen live via webinar.

To view all briefing book materials from all workshops, click here.