If you are new to the world of commercial fishing, figuring out which NOAA fisheries permits you need may seem a bit confusing. With so many different options in various regions pertaining to specific species, it may be difficult to figure out where you should get started. The good news is, however, that you can make sense of this fishing permit maze by answering a couple of key questions. First, where will you be fishing? And secondly, what will you be fishing for? Your geography and your desired catch will determine which permits you to need at both the state and federal levels.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plays a big role in marine matters in the U.S. Not only do they track the climate and issue forecasts, but they also regulate fisheries located in federal waters. They do this by creating quotas and issuing permits to commercial fishing operations. In your time as a commercial fisherman, you can expect to work with the NOAA from time to time.
Fishing in Alaska and on the West Coast
From the northern frontiers of Alaska, down to the beaches of San Diego, the west coast of the United States has a vast, sprawling coastline dotted with a number of popular fisheries. Perhaps you are looking to catch Sablefish or Halibut in the waters off of Anchorage? In these instances, you would require Alaska Halibut and Sablefish licenses, which are issued by the NOAA.
If your business is located in California, there are plenty of native fish that you can net a tidy profit on. A Pacific Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Permit may be a logical choice for you, as it covers a number of valuable species, including Tuna. Additionally, if you are in fact looking to catch Tuna, you will also want to acquire a Tuna Treaty Permit. Available since 1981, this license allows you to fish off the shores of Canada as well (Canadians can enjoy the same reciprocity with the U.S. with this permit).
NOAA Fisheries Permits for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic/New England
Some of the oldest fisheries in America are nestled in the bays of New England. Since the 1600s, commercial fishermen have been earning a livelihood on these waters, and that tradition carries on to this day. Whether you are looking for Lobster off the coast of Maine, or Tuna and Sea Bass off the tip of Long Island, the northeast and mid-Atlantic are premier commercial fishing destinations.
By looking at the NOAA permits available in this region, you can determine what is right for you. You can use the navigation on the top of our website to visit a landing page which cleanly lays out all of the available federal permit options. If you are setting up an operation in the Southeast, perhaps for shellfish or shark, we can assist with that too.
Get Your NOAA Permits Online
At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we make it easy to get the permits you need online. By using our simple-to-fill web forms, you can complete your permit applications in just minutes. To learn more, contact us by email or phone today.