Atlantic Commercial Fishing Permits for Tuna and More

atlantic commercial fishing permits

Have you been looking for an easier way to get your Atlantic commercial fishing permits? Are you even a bit uncertain about which permits you need for your vessel? Here at the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we understand that this can all seem a bit opaque at best and confusing at worst. That’s why we’ve put just about all of the different permits you might need to commercially fish in or around the United States in one place. In this blog, we’ll go over some facts about tuna fishing and more in the Atlantic, as well as how we can help. 

Do You Need Atlantic Commercial Fishing Permits for Tuna? 

Yes, you do. If you’re fishing for bigeye, yellowfin, Atlantic bluefin, albacore, or skipjack tuna in the Atlantic ocean on a state registered and Coast Guard Documented vessel, then you’re going to need a permit. Moreover, you’ll need a permit if you’re doing so in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico. There are multiple kinds of permits depending on what kind of fishing you’re going to be doing. Many in the commercial fishing industry will go with “General Category” permits, but there are others available that may be a better fit for your specific situation. 

I Don’t Need a Physical Copy of the Permit on my Vessel While Fishing, Do I? 

You will need a physical copy to be on board. You can’t just download one or save a picture of it on your phone. Should you go fishing on your vessel without the appropriate and valid permit onboard, you will be considered in violation. Moreover, remember, this isn’t just for “fishing” for tunas exclusively. It also includes taking, retaining, or possessing Atlantic tunas, too. Be in mind: this is true for commercial as well as recreational fishing. Should a member of the NMFS (or someone authorized by them) ask for the permit, you have to be able to show it to them. That kind of thing happens more often than you might think. 

My Friend Has a Permit, Can I Fish on His Vessel Without Having a Permit? 

You can, actually. That’s because these permits are for a vessel, not for a person. The permit isn’t for “John Doe” or “Jane Doe,” rather, they’re for “John and Jane Doe’s Vessel.” So, if you’re on their vessel and they have the permit, you’re good to go fishing. The opposite also holds true: if you don’t have a permit for your vessel, and you invite a guest who does have a permit, you need a permit for your vessel. 

Fishing from a Dock, and So Much More 

You can’t do this, actually. As with the last paragraph, only permitted vessels can fish for the aforementioned kinds of tuna in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. If you catch tuna from say, the shore, an oil rig, something like that, you have to release it immediately. Should you have further questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call (866) 292-4204 or reach out by email

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