Understanding Vessel Documentation for Commercial Fishing

Commercial Fishing

Are you thinking about getting into the commercial fishing business? If so, it is an understandable ambition. Industrial and commercial fishing is a multi-billion dollar global industry, and in the U.S. alone nearly two million jobs are created annually in this line of work. Of course, becoming a commercial fisherman entails a bit more than just casting a line and selling your catch. There are a number of important preliminary measures that you will need to take before you can start bringing your haul to market. First, you are going to want to assess the vessel you plan to use. Is it adequately equipped for the rigors and demands of fishing on sometimes treacherous seas? Is your boat suitable for spending long hours, and even days at a time out on the water? While those are certainly paramount issues to address, you will also need to verify that your boat has the proper vessel documentation with the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

The Coast Guard shoulders a number of key responsibilities in protecting our waterways and ports. One way in which they carry out these duties is to maintain a registry of who and what is engaging in commercial activities on federal waters. As your commercial fish operation will likely carry you out to federal territory–this is technically the area between three and 200 nautical miles from land–you will need to advise the USCG of your operation, and at the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we can help you process these forms online.

What USCG Forms are Required for Commercial Fishing?

If you are going to be fishing commercially–or really engaging in any commercial activity–you will need to obtain what is called the United States Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation (COD). Your COD, once issued, establishes the ownership and nationality of your boat. Your COD will be valid for one to five years, at which point you can request a renewal. If you happen to damage or misplace your COD, you can also obtain a replacement copy. When you acquire a COD, which is sometimes called a CG-1270, you will also receive an official number for your vessel. If the boat you are purchasing already has this number, it is possible to transfer it over.

So, how do you go about getting a USCG COD for your fishing boat? You have a couple of options. One thing you can do is visit the Coast Guard’s website and locate the correct PDF application. You can then download this file, print it out, fill it in by hand, and mail it in for processing. Although, as you are trying to get a business off the ground, you may not have a lot of free time, so why not do it online? At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we have an easy-to-fill web form that allows you to apply for a COD with just a few clicks.

Commercial Fishing

Get Your Fishing Permits Online!

Whether you need Coast Guard documentation or commercial fishing permits at the state or federal level, we can help. Take a moment to explore our site’s top navigation–you will see that we have simplified web forms for all of your permit or documentation needs. To learn more, contact us by phone or email today.

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