Connect with Sean Meehan via email (Sean.Meehan@NOAA.gov) or by phone at
(727) 385-5202. Sean is NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Recreational Fishing Coordinator. Sean lives in Manatee County and is based out of the Regional Office in St. Petersburg, Florida. He works closely with fishermen and community leaders to develop and implement the regional recreational fishing action agendas. We interviewed Sean so you might get to know him better!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in what was once a small sleepy fishing town called Jupiter, Florida. It has the best of all fishing worlds with clean clear water, close proximity to the Gulf Stream, sandy beaches, and the Bahamas are only 53 miles away.
What did you study?
I studied biology with emphasis on Marine Science at the University of South Florida for my undergraduate and then onto Florida International University where I studied Marine Biology.
What are your earliest memories of fishing?
It is hard to pick my earliest memory, but my dad was a part-time charter captain so I always remember running offshore to go fishing or summers in the Abacos in the northern Bahamas. I saw my first blue marlin off of Walkers Cay in the late 70s and my first Easter egg hunt was in Treasure Cay in the Bahamas so I was there a lot when I was young.
What was your most memorable day on the water?
This is kind of funny but my first sailfish was New Year's Day 1980. I was the only kid on the boat and the only one who was not suffering from the night before, if you know what I mean. Since I was clear-headed, I was the only one to land a sailfish, despite more thana dozen hook ups that day. I remember the sailfish were “balling” the bait and taking turns going through the school of baitfish and eating their fill on each pass.
What is your favorite species to catch and why?
My favorite style of fishing is a tie between blue water trolling for pelagics and freedive spearfishing. I love to troll for dolphinfish (mahi) and wahoo and billfish but I also love to get into the water and chase hogfish and mutton snapper. I think mutton snapper are some of the most challenging fish with a pole spear while holding your breath.
What is a typical day for a recreational fishing coordinator?
“Typical” is not the best word to describe my days. Since I am in the Southeast, with the most recreational anglers and the most recreational fishing trips, it certainly is not lacking for activity. I am involved with talking and communicating with anglers mostly or trying to determine better ways to share information with fishermen.
I am also fortunate enough to work with some amazing colleagues who are involved in fishery science and management, protecting our amazing marine species and others who work to protect and restore valuable marine habitats. I also work with a variety of incredible partners with the states and fishery management councils to try and improve our service and availability to our constituents, the fishermen.
But overall, the best part of my job is when I get the chance to go to marinas or fishing club meetings or just walk into a tackle shop. I have open conversations with shop owners and their fishing customers to better understand what's going on in their world. I get to share new opportunities for them to become better involved in fishery management and to be more informed on fishery science and their very important role in the entire process.
Connect with Sean
As NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Recreational Fishing Coordinator, Sean is committed to helping fishermen understand the regulations, answer questions, and address concerns. He is a resource and wants to help.
If you want Sean to speak to your fishing club or organization, please email him at (Sean.Meehan@NOAA.gov) or call him (727) 385-5202