Understanding NOAA and NMFS Permits

nmfs permits

The life of a commercial fisherman can be rewarding if demanding. There are long hours spent at sea in-climate weather. There is dangerous equipment to operate and maintain. Your catch is also not always guaranteed, as you cannot force the fish to bite. Still, commercial fishing is a big business, and if your NMFS permits are in order, there are lucrative opportunities at sea.

NMFS and NOAA fisheries permits are mandatory in most cases, for commercial fishing operations. Aside from ensuring that your boat, gear, and crew are in good order before leaving the dock, you will also want to double-check your permits and licenses so that you can legally access your desired fisheries. Read on to learn more about fishing permits and how you can acquire them.

nmfs permits

What is the National Marine Fisheries Service?

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was established in 1970 by U.S. President Richard Nixon, though its origins are actually much older than that. You can really trace the NMFS back to America’s oldest conservation agency, the Fish Commission of Fish and Fisheries, which was founded in 1871. Even back then, the conservation and economic aspects of commercial fishing were important government matters, and it has long been a well-regulated industry. 

In our current age, commercial fishing is a multi-billion dollar business with a sizable global impact. The NMFS serves to protect commercial fishermen, consumers, as well as the environment while regulating industrial fishing practices. It is with this in mind that they issue permits to control who can access certain fisheries and when. This can prevent overfishing and serves to protect our fisheries for the use and enjoyment of future generations.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

In its current iteration, the NMFS is technically a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This organization is tasked with issuing permits to commercial fishermen operating on waters in federal jurisdiction. Federal waters are typically everything from three to 200 nautical miles from shore. The waters within zero to three nautical miles are often state waters, which will call for their own individualized permits and licenses.

You can obtain your necessary fishing permits by contacting the NOAA. They break down their permits by region, so specific paperwork will need to be filed to use fisheries in the following areas:

  • Alaska
  • The Pacific Islands
  • The West Coast
  • The Southeast
  • New England and the Mid-Atlantic

There are also special permits required for highly migratory species in the Atlantic, as the geographic areas for these fish can shift depending on the season. 

You can visit the NOAA’s website and explore their offerings for the forms you need. You do have the option of printing your application, filling it out, and mailing it to the appropriate government agency location. If you are a business owner, however, your time may be scarce, and it’s logical that you would prefer a more efficient solution to this process.

Get Your NMFS Permits and NOAA Fisheries Permits Online

At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we understand that your time is at a premium. Less energy and hours spent navigating complex paperwork means more time that you can spend out on the water increasing your catch–and revenue.

Take a moment and click through the navigation on the top of our website. You will see that we have easy-to-fill online forms for all major NOAA fishing permits. We use a region-specific site architecture to make it easy to find the documentation forms that you need. Whether you are looking for a permit to fish for Chinook Salmon in Alaska, or longlining for Tuna in the Gulf of Mexico, we can help you submit your application to the right NOAA office.

So, why use a private service such as the Commercial Fishing Permits Center? In one word: convenience. Let’s face it, government websites can be mazes to navigate, and just finding the right permit application can be a chore in its own right. Not to mention, once you have sourced the right document, you have to go through the trouble of printing it, filling it out, and getting it to the post office before they close for the day.

By using our simple, helpful, one-stop website, you can apply for the permits that you need in a matter of minutes. We use fillable web forms that strip out unnecessary jargon and fine print, allowing you to get right down to brass tacks. We also offer an SSL-encrypted web portal, so you can rest easy knowing that your personal information will be transmitted privately and securely. If you need help determining which form you need, or if you have any questions at all, please contact one of our friendly customer service representatives today. With our help, you can spend less time online fishing for documents, and more time fishing for your next big catch.

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