Federal Fishing License to Fish for What You Want in Alaska

federal fishing license

Do you know that you need a federal fishing license to fish for what you want in Alaskan waters, but aren’t sure which it is? Does it feel like the commercial fishing permits process is so much more difficult than it has to be? The latter was one of the main reasons we started our business, as we wanted to make everything easier for commercial fishing professionals. At our site, we can help you with all kinds of licensing in the Alaskan region and beyond. 

Federal Fishing License for Alaska Groundfish and More 

If you want to participate in directed fishing for groundfish species in the Gulf of Alaska, or the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, then odds are you’re going to need the “Alaska License Limitation Program Applications for Groundfish and Crab.” As the name states, you’ll be able to fish in the BSAI LLP crab fisheries as well with this permit. To be in compliance, an LLP license must be onboard the vessel with the vessel’s name on the LLP. 

Alaska Groundfish: Plenty on the Ground 

Some kinds of Alaskan groundfish are very well known, such as the Pacific cod, the Alaska walleye pollock, or the sablefish. However, there are many, many others as well. In fact, in the Gulf of Alaska alone, there are 141 species of groundfish. That sounds like a large number, until you consider that in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, there are actually 148 species. With these permits, you’ll be able to fish for many more kinds of groundfish (and in more areas) than you may have initially realized. 


That’s the acronym for the federal “Scallop License Limitation Program.” If you’re going to deploy your vessel in scallop fisheries in Federal waters off of Alaska, then you’re most likely going to need this permit. We say “most likely” because some diving operations are exempt from this particular licensing. If you have any questions about how this form works or if you’re in compliance, our staff is more than happy to help. 

“Weathervane” = “Giant Pacific Scallop” 

The SLLP mostly refers to what’s called “Weathervane” or “Giant Pacific” scallop. At the start of every fishing season, “guideline harvest levels” are established. That way, the scallops can be properly managed so that there’s plenty of great scallop opportunities moving forward into future seasons, too. 

The Licensing You Need 

There is so much opportunity in Alaskan commercial fishing it would be impossible to cover it all in one blog. Indeed, at our site alone, as of this writing, we have dozens of forms to help your o fish the way that you want in Alaskan waters. To expedite the process, many of our forms offer rush processing as well as a way to renew in advance, so that you never have to worry about being in compliance while you’re out making a living. For more information, you can reach our staff at (866) 292-4204 or fill out our contact form.

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