This program was established by UF/IFAS, Florida Sea Grant and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Participation in the Florida Friendly Fishing Guide program is completely voluntary, and the program involves no regulatory component. However, guides who complete the course will be checked for appropriate licensing and must be clear of resource-related violations for at least 3 years before being certified. Apply for a scholarship.
This online certification course covers science-based techniques that ensure minimal environmental footprint of fishing. The course can be accessed via computer or smart phone/tablet. The course takes approximately four hours to complete and can be taken at your own pace in 20- to 30-minute chunks.
What the course covers
Introduction to Fisheries Management
Best Practices for Catch and Release Fishing
Seafood Safety and Handling
Sustainable Waste Management and Fueling
Overview of Marine Ecology
Sustainable On-board Materials
Giving Back to Fisheries Management and Research
Once you complete the course, you will receive a decal and image file so you can display your certification on your website and vessel, letting your customers will know that you adhere to the highest environmental standards. You will also be listed on the Florida Sea Grant website as a certified guide at https://www.flseagrant.org/find-a-florida-friendly-fishing-guide/
. The $130 fee covers gear for the welcome packages for certified guides, program upkeep and evaluation, and administrative expenses such as web hosting.
The certification is valid for three years, renewal will require a refresher course (shorter version of full course with lower fee).
If you have additional questions prior to registering for the course, please email Mike Sipos at Sipos624@ufl.edu.