HMS Fishing, and NOAA Fisheries Permit, and You: What to Know

noaa fisheries permit

Are you interested in fishing commercially, but aren’t sure exactly which permits and licenses you need to fish for what species? Do you already have a commercial fishing business, but are looking for a way to make the NOAA Fisheries Permit process go that much faster? Those are just some of the scenarios that we created our Commercial Fishing Permit Center to help. When it comes to fishing, (even recreational fishing, in some cases) the rules and bylaws can be opaque or even a bit confusing. Below, we’ve answered some common questions we’ve been asked, cleared up some misconceptions, and so forth. 


HMS Fishing Permit Info for Charter/Headboat Vessels 


If you own or operate a charter/headboat that fishes for and/or retains HMS (“Highly Migratory Species”) in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, or the Caribbean, then odds are you’re going to need this permit. If you’re new to commercial fishing, then you may underestimate just how many different species of fish come under the heading of “HMS.” Atlantic tunas, swordfish, sharks, and billfish – those make up the HMS designations in this context. Keep in mind: you’ll need this permit if you’re involved in HMS fishing activities on this kind of vessel if they’re commercial based, fee-based, or even recreational. 


HMS Recreational Angling Information 


You may have read the above paragraph and thought: “OK, but, I just want to fish recreationally with my friends and family in the Atlantic, for tunas, billfish, those HMS species. Do I really need a permit?” Yes. Specifically, you need an HMS Angling category permit. Bear in mind: you can only fish recreationally with this. You canT sell anything that you catch with this permit. But, you will be able to participate in any and all registered recreational HMS fishing. 


Where you Can and Cannot Fish for Atlantic Tunas


Fishing for tuna in the Atlantic – it can be peaceful, profitable, and so much more. You may consider just fishing for these tunas off of the shore or not on a vessel. Unfortunately, that’s not in compliance with the rules. Only permitted vessels can fish for Atlantic bigeye, albacore, bluefin, skipjack, and yellowfin tunas in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, or the Atlantic. Should you catch one of those while fishing from shore, an oil rig, or something of that nature, you must immediately release it. 


The Best Place to Get an NOAA Fisheries Permit and Much More 


No matter where your fishing journey takes you, you can find the permits to keep you in compliance with it at our site. Here, we offer permits for fishing in the Caribbean, in the Atlantic, in the Gulf of Mexico, the West Coast, and just about anywhere else in or around the United States. Moreover, as our site has been optimized for mobile devices, you can fill out these forms from anywhere. Our staff is more than happy to answer any questions you might have at (866) 292-4204.

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