Commercial Fishing Permits for a Lobster Fishing Business

Commercial Fishing Permits

While commercial fishing is tough work, it can also be quite profitable. With the right commercial fishing permits, you can catch in-demand fish that will net you a high dollar on the open market. Commercial fishing is a multi-billion dollar, global industry, and it does not take much research to figure out why. The demand for fresh seafood is always high, and for some types of seafood, so is the price tag. Lobster is one such shellfish that consumers crave, and if you have been to a seafood restaurant lately, you have likely noticed that lobster is one of the most expensive items on the menu. If you have a commercial fishing business–especially in the northeast United States–it may be wise to start trapping lobster.

Outfitting your operation for lobster may require some adjustments if you have not dropped pots or traps before. You will need to assemble the right gear and figure out where to strategically place your traps. You may also find that hiring an experienced lobster fishing crew is a helpful maneuver, especially if they know your local waters. Before you can get to any of that, however, you will need to handle a bit of paperwork in the form of fishing permit applications. 

Finding the Right Commercial Fishing Permits

As the old saying goes, you have to go where the fish are biting. In the United States, the American lobster is most abundant in the Atlantic Ocean. Specifically, the areas between Maine and New Jersey are going to be the most bountiful, though you can also catch them as far south as North Carolina. Depending on which state you are fishing in, you will need to obtain a state permit, provided you are trapping lobsters within zero to three nautical miles from land. For example, in Maine, you would need a Commercial Lobster Harvester license.

You may find, though, that your quest for lobster brings you into federal waters. This is technically the area between three and 200 nautical miles from shore. Federal permits are issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This agency separates its permits by region, and the area most applicable to American lobster will be New England and the Mid-Atlantic.

So, how do you go about getting these permits? One way is to visit the website of your state’s agency–or the NOAA’s if you need federal licenses–and locate a PDF of the necessary application. From there, you can download it and print it out. Once you fill it out by hand, you can then head down to the post office and mail it in for processing. At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, however, we offer a simpler solution.

Commercial Fishing Permits

Get Your Lobster Permits Online

We are a private service that allows commercial fishermen to apply for their permits online. We use streamlined web forms and an SSL-encrypted web portal for safe and secure processing. If you would like to learn more, visit our helpful Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact us by phone or email for additional information.

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