Getting the Right Maryland Commercial Fishing License

Maryland Commercial Fishing License

On the east coast, commercial fishing is an industry with a sizable amount of history. In fact, going back to the earliest origins of the United States, commercial fishermen have worked this area to earn a livelihood. Commercial and industrial fishing in Maryland, in particular, is a trade that goes back more than a century, and to this day many businesses still trawl the waters of the Old Line State. If you are considering setting up your fishing operation in this area, you are going to want to obtain the correct Maryland commercial fishing license.

Commercial fishing is a massive industry both in the U.S. and around the globe. It can also be incredibly dangerous, as fishing crews are subject to choppy seas and treacherous lines and traps. With these two factors in mind, it is also an industry that is well-regulated at both the state and federal levels. By issuing licenses, permits, and endorsements, state and federal agencies are able to monitor who is accessing U.S. fisheries, while also limiting access to avoid overfishing. (Maryland typically has a waitlist to obtain commercial fishing permits.)

Knowing the Different Maryland Commercial Fishing Licenses

When you think about Maryland and seafood, you probably think about the crab. This is understandable, as blue crabs are especially bountiful in the Chesapeake Bay as well as the Atlantic. But that is not the only species sought after by commercial fishing businesses in Maryland. There are also sea bass, oysters, clams, mackerel, flounder, and more.

Just as there is an array of different fish off the shores of Maryland–as well as in its inland waterways–so too are there a number of different permits issued by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). For instance, there are permits specifically for crab or oyster harvesting. There are also licenses for finfish, conch and turtle. Ultimately, the permits that you need will depend on the aims of your business, but it is important to make sure that you have all of your bases covered with the DNR. 

Federal Commercial Fishing Licenses

If you are fishing inland or in the area from zero to three nautical miles off the coast, you will need state DNR permits, as that is their jurisdiction. Anything beyond three miles out is considered federal territory, which is regulated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA separates their permits out by region, and for Maryland fishermen, their permits can be found in the Mid-Atlantic subset.

NOAA permits for this region are generally species-specific. Herring, flounder, deep-sea crab, and black sea bass all have their own individual federal permits. Chances are good that your business will bring you to both state and federal waters, so it is a sound decision to obtain permits for both jurisdictions. 

Maryland Commercial Fishing License

Get Your Maryland Fishing Permits Online

At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we can help you apply for permits at the state and federal levels. Take a moment or two to browse the navigation on our website. We offer easy-to-complete online forms for all of your permit needs. To learn more about our SSL-encrypted web portal, contact us today.

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Scroll to Top