A Guide on Pennsylvania Commercial Fishing Permits

Pennsylvania Commercial Fishing Permits

Are you thinking about making a drastic career change? Maybe you are tired of the 9 to 5 rat race and staring at four walls all day long? Have you been considering turning your passion for fishing into a full-on profession? If so, you may find that angling commercially can be quite lucrative. Of course, it is also not without a fair amount of difficult work. Catching fish at an industrial scale can bring you into treacherous weather for long stretches of time, and the equipment used is a bit heavier–and more dangerous–than a traditional rod and reel setup. Still, for those bold enough to pursue their passion, there is money to be made, with many types of fish commanding a high dollar on the open market. In Pennsylvania, though you may not immediately associate it with commercial fishing, there are plenty of opportunities for enterprising fishing operators. If you are looking to launch your business in the Keystone State, you are going to want to obtain the proper Pennsylvania commercial fishing permits.

Though Pennsylvania does not sit on the ocean, it is still home to more than 2,500 lakes and a number of rivers. It also sits on Lake Erie, which many commercial fishing businesses utilize to haul in their catch. Whether you are situated in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or anywhere in between, you can make a rather good living as a commercial fisherman in Pennsylvania. Read on to learn more about the paperwork that you will require in order to get your commercial or industrial fishing business up and running.

How to Obtain Pennsylvania Commercial Fishing Permits

So, you have purchased a boat, hired a seasoned crew, and prepared your nets and lines for commercial fishing. You are likely itching to pull away from the dock, get out onto the water, and start hauling in your catch. Before you can start converting fish into dollars, however, there will be a bit of paperwork to complete. Namely, you are going to need to apply for the correct Pennsylvania commercial fishing permits.

In the state of Pennsylvania, commercial fishing licenses and permits are issued by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. This agency makes a number of different permits available, some of which will be applicable to your commercial fishing operation. Specifically, you will probably need a Regulated Lake License or a Lake Erie Trap Net for Commercial Fishing License. There are also permits for chartering your boat if you are planning to provide that service as a part of your business.

Commercial Fishing on the Great Lakes

With the right permits onboard, you have the opportunity to catch and sell fish. If you are a Pennsylvania resident, odds are you will be doing this on Lake Erie. On the Great Lakes, nearly 50 million pounds of fish are harvested every year. The largest portion of that haul happens to come from Lake Erie, which is abundant with walleye, yellow perch, white bass, and white fish. Lake Erie fisheries generate millions of dollars in commercial fishing revenue every year, so if you are thinking about starting a commercial fishing business in Pennsylvania, you would be hard-pressed to do better than this particular Great Lake.

Do You Need Federal Permits?

In Pennsylvania, and in any other state, there are waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the local state agency. This is generally encompassed by the area between zero and three nautical miles from land. For states that border the ocean, anything beyond three nautical miles–and out to 200 miles out–is regulated at a federal level. The agency tasked with this is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and they issue federal commercial fishing permits as a part of their duties.

Many commercial fishing operations find themselves in federal waters. There is a great deal of well-stocked fisheries within federal jurisdiction, and with the correct permits, you can access them as well. With nearly 100,000 miles of coastline to regulate, the NOAA has a tall order of responsibility. One way in which this agency simplifies things a bit is by delineating their permits by region, which includes: Alaska, the South, The Pacific Islands, the West Coast, and the Atlantic. Within each of these regions are a number of species-specific permits, and you can get pretty granular in terms of the available licenses. 

Pennsylvania Commercial Fishing Permits

Get Your Commercial Fishing Permits Online

Whether you need state or federal commercial fishing permits, we can help. At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we are a private service that offers easy-to-fill web applications for all of your permit needs. With just a handful of personal details, you can process your application via our SSL-encrypted web portal in a matter of minutes. If you would like to learn more about our services, contact one of our customer service representatives by phone or email today.

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