Do You Need Atlantic Commercial Fishing Permits?

atlantic commercial fishing permits

Are you looking for a career shake-up? Have you grown tired of spending your days confined to a cubicle, toiling away at a 9-to-5 job? Well, if you have a passion for angling and would prefer to spend your days in the great outdoors, you may want to look at becoming a professional commercial fisherman. No doubt, if you have caught an episode or two of “Deadliest Catch,” you likely know that commercial fishing is tough work, and you should be prepared to spend long hours–sometimes days–out at sea. In return, though, you can experience professional fulfillment in how you spend your days. Not to mention, commercial fishing is a multibillion-dollar international trade, and for those that excel at their craft, there is certainly a fair amount of money to be made. Before you can gear up your vessel, though, you will need to obtain the proper Atlantic commercial fishing permits, provided you will be doing your fishing on the east coast.


It goes without saying that commercial fishing is not just a line of work you jump right into. You will first need to identify what you will be fishing for and know how to best catch it. This will usually mean hiring a crew of seasoned fishermen who know the waters you will be operating on. There is also the matter of having a proper vessel for the job. You will need to make sure that your boat can handle the rigors of the sea, and it should have a galley and adequate space for your more extended journeys. Additionally, you will want to think about the practicalities of owning and operating your own business. From time to time, this will mean sitting down to handle some paperwork, and in the early days especially, this will mean applying for the right commercial fishing licenses and permits.

Get the Facts on Atlantic Commercial Fishing Permits

The east coast is home to some of the oldest operating fisheries in America. Dating back to the very founding of this country, fishermen have made their livelihoods on these waters, catching crab, lobster, tuna, and more. If you are going to be fishing on the Atlantic, you may need permits at both the state and federal levels. State permits will apply to the waters between the shore and three nautical miles out, and they can be obtained from your local Department of fish and Game. Federal permits come from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and they apply to the waters between three and 200 nautical miles out. The NOAA has specific permits for both the Mid-Atlantic and New England in this particular region.

atlantic commercial fishing permits

How to Get Your Permits Online

While you can locate paper applications for the permits you need and ink them by hand before making a trip to the post office, there is also an easier way. At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we have online applications for all the state and NOAA permits you need. To learn more, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, or spend a few minutes exploring our site.

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