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 to attend safe handling, release, and identification workshops.

Some shark and swordfish limited access permit holders must attend 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, smalltooth sawfish, Atlantic sturgeon, and prohibited sharks. In an effort to improve reporting, identification of protected species and prohibited sharks is also taught at these workshops.

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


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.

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.

July 2018

July 3, 2018

Holiday Inn

10120 South US Highway 1

Port St. Lucie, FL 34952

July 23, 2018

Marriott Courtyard

2 15th Street

Ocean City, MD 21842


August 2018

August 14, 2018

Marriott Courtyard

5000 Express Drive South

Ronkonkoma, NY 11779


August 21, 2018

DoubleTree Hotel

1702 Seawall Boulevard

Galveston, TX 77550


September 2018

September 5, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn

1101 US Highway 231

Panama City, FL 32405


September 19, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn

1 Thurber Street

Warwick, RI 02886



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.


Sawfish and Sturgeon

Sea Turtles

Marine Mammals