New England Commercial Fishing: The Basics

new england commercial fishing

New England commercial fishing can be a lucrative business and if you’re interested in it, there are some things to know about the industry before you get started. Being well-educated will serve you well and you apply for a commercial fishing license and acquire the equipment and funding to get your business off the ground and into the water. Not sure you’re quite ready? Use this introduction to the basics to help you get started. 

Commercial Fishing Opportunities

New England offers many kinds of fish and other seafood, giving you some options as you decide what you want to catch and sell. Because different equipment may be required for different sea life, keep that in mind as you choose your specialty. Options in the New England region include squid, scallops, shrimp, mackerel, and groundfish such as cod and pollock. Of course, in certain parts of New England, specifically, Maine, lobster fishing is also a big business that you might consider pursuing. 

Getting Your Permit

Before operating a commercial fishing business, you must have a commercial fishing license and any relevant permits for the area where you plan to work. Depending on where you fish, you will need a federal permit, a state permit, or both. This is determined by how far from shore you operate, with federal waters typically being beyond 200 to 300 hundred nautical miles. Certain species of fish also require a federal permit, including lobster, monkfish, deep sea red crab, herring, and black sea bass. 

You may also need a state permit if you plan to fish closer to shore. Each state has its own set of guidelines, including those in New England. Be sure you follow the restrictions closely so that you get the right permit for your purposes. In some cases, you’ll need this permit for other species, such as sea urchins, sea cucumbers, scallops, and several other marine creatures. Be sure you pay close attention to exactly what the New England region requirements are so that you have the proper permits for your business. 

new england commercial fishing

How to Apply for a Permit

Fortunately, applying for either a state or federal permit is quite easy, using our website. Start by choosing the federal or state button on the home page. Then follow the directions for inputting your information. Be sure to include any necessary additional documentation. Failure to do so can lengthen the application process. 

You can apply for your federal and state licenses at the same time, which can help you get out on the water more quickly. Make sure you apply in the correct region. In this case, you’ll apply for a New England/Mid-Atlantic commercial fishing license. You can also pay any relevant fees on the website, which helps speed up the process and get it done without too much hassle. Once you receive your permits, you’re ready to get down to business. 

The Commercial Fishing Permits Center is here to help you get your New England commercial fishing business running. Let us help you through the process, step by step so that you are ready to hit the water in a timely manner. Contact us today to get started. 

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