When you think about seafood in the United States, you probably think of the state of Maine. Known for its bountiful lobster fisheries–as well as a number of other in-demand species–Maine is a major hub for commercial fishing. If you are a Maine resident, or if you are considering relocating to the area, getting into the commercial and industrial fishing industry may carry a certain appeal. You should know, however, that this is not easy work. You can expect long, cold stretches spent out at sea, often navigating choppy waters. You will also need to handle some bureaucratic matters, including the process of obtaining the correct Maine commercial fishing permits.
There are a couple of common draws for commercial fishing. One is the prospect of turning your hobby or pastime into a career–you know the saying: if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. Another alluring prospect is money. Commercial fishing is big business, with billions changing hands globally every year. Like any major industry, commercial fishing is subject to both state and federal regulations, and permits are just one manifestation of those guidelines being put into practice.
An Assortment of Different Maine Commercial Fishing Permits
If you have any background in recreational fishing (which, if you are reading this blog, you surely do), you are probably somewhat familiar with the annual process of obtaining a fishing license. For non-commercial fishing activity, this is typically done through your state’s designated fish and wildlife agency. This is also true in the world of commercial fishing, provided you will be accessing fisheries in state waters.
In Maine, commercial fishing licenses are issued by the Department of Marine Resources (DMR). For their part, the DMR provides a number of different types of commercial fishing permits to both residents and non-residents alike. Lobster and crab licenses are particularly popular, as these species are what the state is known for, and they can command a high dollar on the open market. There are also licenses available for harvesting scallops, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and more.
Federal Fishing Permits for New England
While state permits apply to inland and other state waters, federal territories fall under a different jurisdiction. The area from three to 200 nautical miles from shore is governed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is a federal agency. For Maine commercial fishermen, the New England region of the NOAA’s permit offerings is most applicable.
You can obtain federal commercial fishing permits for American lobster, deep sea red crab, black sea bass, herring, monkfish, and more. Depending on the goals of your business, you may find yourself fishing in both state and federal waters. To ensure that your bases are covered, it is generally prudent to make sure that you carry permits from both the NOAA and the DMR.
Find Your Maine Licenses Online
At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we have all of the Maine licenses and permits you need on our one-stop website. By using our SSL-encrypted web portal, you can submit your applications quickly and securely. To learn more, contact us today, or visit our FAQ page.