A Career in Commercial Fishing: Getting Started

commercial fishing

For some people, the idea of sitting in an office all day just isn’t that appealing. If you consider yourself to be of this ilk, you may be pining to spend your working hours outside, feeling the sunshine on your face. If you also happen to have a passion for fishing, you might just be able to parlay that into a lucrative career as a commercial fisherman. Commercial fishing is a huge, global industry, and there is always a market demand for fresh seafood. You should probably know, though, that fishing commercially can be exceptionally tough work. Day in and day out, you will be working with heavy, unwieldy equipment that can easily cause serious injury. You may also need to contend with difficult, choppy seas and harsh weather. There is also the possibility of spending days–in some cases, weeks–out on the water away from your life back on the shore. Still, there is something professionally rewarding about doing what you love, and if that means fishing, there are a few things to do before you get started.

To state the obvious, you can’t have a fishing business without a boat. Also, just any old vessel won’t do the trick. You need to make sure that your boat is built for the rigors of industrial fishing, which may mean installing new equipment and better outfitting your galley. Keep in mind that you may be spending a lot of time on your boat, so anything you can do to make the experience more comfortable shouldn’t be overlooked. If your boat is all geared up and ready to go, you may want to think about hiring some help. A seasoned and competent crew who knows the waters you will be fishing on can be beneficial. Make sure the fishermen you hire have experience and know the necessary safety guidelines for industrial fishing. With your team assembled, you can get down to doing some paperwork. As a fishing business, this will mean obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, and that’s where we come in.

Getting the Right Commercial Fishing Permits

Most businesses need licensing of some kind, and fishing for a living is really no exception. If you have some background in angling, you probably know that you need an annual license from your local Department of Game and Wildlife. Well, the same holds true at the commercial level. You will want to work within your state’s guidelines if you are fishing on state waters, which is typically the area between zero and three nautical miles out from land. We have online forms that you can use to apply for the state-level permits you need–just browse our navigation menu to learn more.

You will also probably find yourself on federal waters (the area between three and 200 nautical miles from land). Federal fishing permits are issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We can help with that too, as we have fillable applications for all NOAA regions.

commercial fishing

Start Your Fishing Business Today

We can help you get the permits and licenses you need to start your fishing business. To learn more, spend some time perusing our website, or visit our helpful Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more.

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