Federal Fishing Permits for the Gulf of Mexico

federal fishing permits

One of the main attractions o commercial fishing as a career is that it gives you the opportunity to work outside. For some, the idea of working in an office just does not suit them, and being able to work with their hands doing what they love has much more allure. Of course, that does not mean that commercial fishing is a walk in the park, by any stretch. If you are pondering this line of work as a career, you are going to need to prepare for spending long hours on rough seas, often handling dangerous, heavy equipment. In some places, such as off the coast of Alaska or in the north Atlantic, the weather can also be problematic. If you are fishing on the Gulf Coast, however, there are not many better places to cast your lines, from a weather point of view. If you are gearing up to launch your commercial fishing business off the shores of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, or Florida, you are going to want to make sure that you have the correct federal fishing permits.

If you have experience in fishing just as a purely leisurely activity, you probably still have some familiarity with the process of obtaining licenses and permits. In most states, you will have to acquire a fishing license every year before you head out on your boat. This same practice is carried out in the world of commercial fishing, though it can be a bit more nuanced. If you are planning to fish commercially anywhere inland, or within three nautical miles of the coastline, those are considered state waters and will warrant a state-level permit. The area between three and 200 nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico falls under federal jurisdiction. Federal commercial fishing permits are issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and you can get yours online by using our web forms.

The Different Types of Federal Fishing Permits

Aside from the ideal weather, the Gulf of Mexico is also home to some of the most desired seafood species in the United States. If you are going to be fishing in the Gulf, the odds are good that you will find yourself out on federal waters at some point. The NOAA, as you can probably imagine, faces a major challenge in terms of the area of water it is responsible for. The United States is home to thousands of miles of coastline, so to simplify things a bit, the NOAA divides their permit offerings up by region, including Alaska, the Pacific Islands, the South, the West Coast, and the Atlantic.

The Gulf of Mexico falls within the South region, and the NOAA offers several species-specific permits for this area. You can get licenses for King Mackerel, Atlantic Tuna, Spiny Lobster, Swordfish and more. By using our easy-to-fill web forms, you can apply for all the licenses you need on one convenient website. 

federal fishing permits

Get Your Commercial Fishing License Online

At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we have all the permit applications you need. Simply select your NOAA region from our top navigation menu and you will find a landing page listing all of our available options. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email today.

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