A Guide on How to Start a Fishing Business

Start a Fishing Business

Is it time for a career change? Are you tired of the 9-to-5 rat race and spending your days in a cubicle? Maybe it’s time to turn your passion for angling into a profession and learn how to start a fishing business. The appeal of commercially fishing for a living is understandable. Instead of commuting to the office, you get to spend your days out on the water, doing what you love. Of course, if you have ever seen an episode of “Deadliest Catch”, you know that commercial and industrial fishing is a far cry from a leisurely day out on the lake. You will have to work with dangerous equipment, sometimes in treacherous conditions, often spending hours or even days out at sea. Still, for those willing to brave the tumultuous nature of commercial fishing, there can be significant amounts of money to be made.

In the United States alone, commercial fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry. As the demand for high-quality seafood is ever present, those who can effectively carve out a niche in the market can create a decent livelihood for themselves and their crew. Whether you are enticed by potential profits, or just eager to work outdoors, read on to learn more about how you can go about starting your own commercial fishing business.

How to Start a Fishing Business: Getting Started

Before you start your fishing business, you should probably determine what you will catch, as well as where you will catch it. The United States is home to thousands of miles of coastline, and there are also ample opportunities for inland commercial fishing on the Great Lakes and elsewhere. Where you are fishing and what you are fishing for will also help you figure out which permits you to need.

If you are fishing zero to three miles from shore, you will need permits at the state level. Different jurisdictions vary, but there are typically species-specific permits that you will need to legally catch and sell fish. The waters from three to 200 miles from shore are considered federal territory, and they are regulated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA issues its permits by region, specifically Alaska, the West Coast, the Atlantic, the South, and the Pacific Islands. Within those regions, there are a number of different federal permits for individual species. 

If you need to get your permits quickly, we can help. Browse our navigation and see for yourself–we have a wide array of different commercial fishing permits that you can apply for with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Start a Fishing Business

Outfitting Your Vessel and Hiring a Crew

With your paperwork in place, you can get to work on making sure your boat is ready for the demands of commercial fishing. This means assembling the correct nets and lines and making sure that you have an ample supply of life jackets and first aid materials. You may also want to have a top-notch galley in the event that you are out at sea for long periods of time.

Hiring a crew is also important. You are going to want to make sure that you bring on a team of seasoned, experienced fishermen who know the waters and understand the latest in safety practices. Any manager will tell you that hiring is the most difficult part of the job–in commercial fishing, it is especially important to make smart hiring decisions.

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