The United States is the 4th largest country in the world. A great power, because there are a lot of lands (and waters) ready to be exploited, but also a great responsibility because there is plenty of territories that need to be administered. This article in particular will center on how the US administers fishing permits throughout the entire country, with the help of the Department of Resources from each state, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Fishing Permits at a State Level
If you plan on setting up your own commercial fishing business there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The first one of them is that every vessel with a net weight of over five tons and used for commercial purposes must be registered with the United States Coast Guard. Once this document has been settled, it is a matter of deciding where and what you are going to be catching.
The rivers and lakes from each state, along with the coastline waters (from zero up to three nautical miles) are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources of each state. The different fishing permits that can be obtained then depend on the decision of the diverse states. As an example, in Florida, you can get commercial freshwater or saltwater permits, and different licenses are issued depending on the catch you are looking for.
On some occasions, you may need to get further into the ocean to get the fish you are looking for, and that is when the NOAA comes into place.
The NOAA Administers the Permits in Federal Waters
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration takes care of all the fishing permits related to vessels on federal waters: That means from 3 nautical miles from shore up to 200 nautical miles from shore. Before that, they depend on each state, and after those, they are considered international waters.
With the purpose of administering the federal waters, the NOAA divides the area into five regions: Alaska, the Pacific islands, the Atlantic, and the West and South coasts. Furthermore, the permits and licenses you can get depend on the species that can be caught in each state. Bluefin tuna, for instance, is available on the east coast of the US, where the Atlantic ocean is. For that reason, the Atlantic Tuna Longline Commercial Fishing Permit (Limited Access) is only available in the Atlantic and South East regions.
The mentioned permit is not to be confused with the Tuna Treaty Permit. This one gives Canadian and US vessels reciprocity to enter into the neighbor’s waters for up to 12 nautical miles in search of Albacore tuna. This type of tuna (the one you can get in cans for less than $2 in the supermarket) is abundant in the area, so this agreement traces back to the Tuna Treaty of 1981. This permit is only available in the West Coast region.
All your Forms in the Same Place
Having to deal with three different government administrations can be overwhelming. The Commercial Fishing Permits Center is here to help with that. We are a third-party agency that allows you to get all of your permits in the same place. Furthermore, we do it with our fully online, encrypted platform, so you can process your documentation from the comfort of your couch without having to worry about the safety of your information. Contact us today and get your business started!