Atlantic Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops

NOAA Fisheries requires certain highly migratory species permit holders to attend educational workshops. Shark and swordfish permit holders that use longline or gillnet gear are required attend protected species safe handling, release, and identification workshops.

Some shark and swordfish limited access permit holders must attend the protected species safe handling, release, and identification workshop.

This workshop is designed to educate longline and gillnet fishermen on the proper techniques for safe handling and release of entangled or hooked protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and smalltooth sawfish. In an effort to improve reporting, identification of protected species is also taught at these workshops.

Instructors: Angler Conservation Education (ACE) | | (386) 682-0158

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Required Attendance

  1. Are you a commercial vessel owner or operator?

  2. Do you use longline or gillnet gear?

  3. Do you hold one or more of the following permits?

    • Shark directed limited access permit

    • Shark incidental limited access permit

    • Swordfish directed limited access permit

    • Swordfish incidental limited access permit

If you answered "yes" to 1, 2, and 3, then you are required attend this workshop and obtain a workshop certificate before you can operate under any of these commercial shark or swordfish limited access permits. All workshop certificates must be renewed every three years, prior to renewing your permit. A copy of both a valid vessel owner and operator certificate must be possessed on board the vessel.

If you answered "no" but would still like to attend a workshop, please contact Angler Conservation Education at (386) 682-0158 to check for availability.

Workshop Certificate

  1. Submit a copy of the workshop certificate with your shark or swordfish permit renewal application each year.

  2. Keep a copy of the workshop certificates on board your vessel as proof of certification.

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Dates and Locations

Upcoming workshops are listed below. Workshops are scheduled quarterly in many locations in the Atlantic and Gulf states.  For more information please see the Federal Register Notice.

March 2018

March 7, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn

55 Town Center Boulevard

Palm Coast, FL 32164

March 13, 2018

Holiday Inn Express

9300 South Main Street

Houston, TX 77025


April 2018

April 4, 2018

Holiday Inn

151 Route 72 East

Manahawkin, NJ 08050


April 11, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn

5353 North Virginia Dare Trail

Kitty Hawk, NC 27949


April 23, 2018

Hampton Inn

230 Lee Burbank Highway

Revere, MA 02151


May 2018

May 7, 2018

Hilton Hotel

901 Airline Drive

Kenner, LA 70062


May 10, 2018

Hampton Inn

678 Citadel Haven Drive

Charleston, SC 29414


May 21, 2018

Holiday Inn Express

210 Seminole Boulevard

Largo, FL 33770


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Sign up for a Workshop

It is free to attend a workshop. Please contact Angler Conservation Education (ACE) by phone at (386) 682-0158 to reserve a space at a workshop. A reservation is not required, but is recommended.

Prepare for a Workshop

To prepare for the workshop, please fill out the correct form below* and e-mail it to ACE, fax it to (386) 437-8115, or bring it to the workshop.

To ensure your workshop certificate is linked to the correct permit, please bring the following materials with you to the workshop:

Vessel Owner

  1. Proof of identification.

  2. A copy of the permit(s).

  3. A copy of the vessel registration or documentation.

Representative of a Business or Co-Owned Vessel

  1. Proof of identification.

  2. A copy of the permit(s).

  3. Proof that the participant is a co-owner of the business or vessel.

Vessel Operator

  1. Proof of identification.

*There are three ways you can fill out a form:

  1. If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat (Standard or Professional), you can download the form, type in the fields, save the form, and e-mail it to ACE.

  2. If you only have Acrobat Reader you can type in the fields and send the form using Reader, or you can print the form and fax it to ACE or bring it to the workshop.

  3. If you don't have  Adobe Acrobat Professional or Adobe Reader simply print out the form, write in the spaces, and either fax it to ACE or bring it to the workshop.

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Sawfish and Sturgeon

Sea Turtles

Marine Mammals

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