In many ways, a commercial fishing operation is a business just like any other. You have overhead costs to deal with, often in the form of boat maintenance and fuel, payroll for your crew, and the cost of bait and equipment. You also need to have a sound business plan that weighs the costs of catching fish against the profits you can get by selling them. You also have to find buyers and develop a keen knowledge of your market. Additionally, commercial fishing laws will require you to carry a fishing permit. In fact, you may need several that are issued at both state and federal levels, depending on where you will be fishing.
In truth, commercial fishing can be big business. Globally, billions of dollars change hands every year in the commercial fishing trade, and in the U.S. alone, the industry creates more than one million jobs. Partly because of how much money is involved, commercial fishing is also highly regulated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). One avenue they use for controlling U.S. fisheries is providing permits and mandates to those fishing in federal waters. Before you leave the dock, you will want to have a strong working knowledge of the permits that your business requires.
State and Federal Fishing Permits
Commercial fishing is not for everyone. You may know from TV or the movies that it is often a dangerous line of work. Between navigating heavy, unwieldy equipment and traversing difficult, unforgiving seas, a day’s work on a commercial fishing boat is far from your typical 9-to-5. The reward for such a physically taxing task, however, can be major profits. If you are considering this line of work, you may be drawn to the idea of doing what you love: angling. But, you have also probably considered that there is much money to be made in a successful commercial fishing operation.
You probably have some idea of what types of fish you will be looking to catch. Whether it is Tuna in the Atlantic, or shrimp in the Southeast, commercial fishermen tend to specialize in species that they know a thing or two about catching. You will next want to think about where you will be fishing, specifically whether you will be in state or federal waters.
State waters typically fall within the first three nautical miles from shore. The area beyond that, from three to 200 nautical miles out, is under the federal jurisdiction of the NOAA. Chances are, your business will require you to obtain permits for both areas. While the costs of so many permit applications may seem like a nuisance, the flexibility that they offer in terms of where you can fish can be an overall positive for your revenue.
We Can Help You Get the Permits You Need Online
By working with us at the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, you can save yourself time and energy. Our easy-to-use, one-stop website features online applications for all available NOAA permits. If you would like to learn more, please contact one of our customer service representatives today.