Has office life got you down? Are you tired of the confines of your cubicle and sick of the daily commute? Maybe it is time to mix things up and explore new career possibilities. If you have a passion for angling, you might find that commercial fishing is a dream vocation. Instead of your standard 9 to 5 routine, you can spend your days out on the water, casting lines or dropping nets to haul in your livelihood. As far as professions go, there are not much older than the practice of catching and selling fish. Though technology has certainly come a long way, commercial fishing is still a fairly simple concept, and it is a line of work that can be done pretty much anywhere there is a body of water. There will be a few processes to complete before heading out to sea, however, some of which must be carried out with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Specifically, you will need to have the proper NOAA permits in order to legally operate your commercial fishing business.
Commercial fishing is a major, global economic force, with billions of dollars changing hands annually. In the U.S. alone, nearly two million jobs are created every year in the commercial fishing industry. As there is a consistent worldwide demand for fresh seafood, commercial fishing can afford your job security if you are meeting market demands. While this profession can be rewarding both spiritually and financially, it is also not without difficulty. If you have ever caught an episode of “Deadliest Catch,” you have seen firsthand just how treacherous the conditions can be when out at sea. You will need to be prepared to spend sometimes days at a time out on the water, often in intense weather. As commercial fishing involves such dangers and is essentially the practice of extracting a natural resource for profit, it really is not any wonder that it is fairly well-regulated and requires NOAA permits.
Getting to Know Your NOAA Permits
So, you have decided to take the plunge and start your own commercial or industrial fishing business. You may be wondering where you should begin in getting your business up and running. Well, at the outset, you should probably make sure your boat is up for the job. That means checking your engine and performing routine maintenance, stocking your first aid kits, and making sure you have an adequate number of life jackets onboard. Next, you may want to think about hiring a crew. Make sure the fishermen you bring on are experienced and know the waters you will be fishing on. Your next order of business should be handling some paperwork matters, most specifically getting the proper NOAA permits and licenses.
To determine which permits your business will need, you should first consider where you will be fishing. Anything inland or within three nautical miles from shore will fall under state jurisdiction. This means you will have to obtain licenses from your local Department of Fish and Wildlife (or a similarly named organization). State-level permits can often be species-specific, so you will want to have an idea of what you are fishing for as well.
Federal waters are the area between three and 200 nautical miles out from land. As the United States has thousands of miles of coastline, federal waters are fairly expansive. The NOAA is tasked with regulating these territories, and one way in which they do this is by issuing commercial fishing permits. To simplify things a bit, the NOAA separates its permit offerings by region, including Alaska, the West Coast, the Pacific Islands, the Atlantic, and the South. Each region will have its own permits for its various native or migratory species.
Getting the Licenses You Need Online
If you have figured out which NOAA licenses your business needs, you can move ahead with completing the necessary applications. There are a couple of ways in which you can do this. Your first option is to visit the NOAA’s website and source the correct PDF files. You can then download these applications, print them out, fill them in by hand, and mail them in for processing. Although, as you are trying to start a new business, you may not have a lot of free time for trips down to the post office. To save yourself time and energy, you can work with us at the Commercial Fishing Permits Center.
Whether you need state or federal commercial fishing licenses, we have got you covered. At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we have online, fillable forms that you can use to apply for the permits you need in just a matter of minutes. To learn more about our services, take a minute to explore our website, or contact us by phone or email today.