Are you longing for a life at sea? Is it time to turn your passion for fishing into a lucrative career? If you are considering commercial fishing as a profession, there are a few preliminary measures that you will need to take. First, you should probably make sure that you own a boat that is up to the task. Commercial fishing can call for long hours, or even days, spent in rough weather and difficult seas. You will want to have your boat fully outfitted with an adequate galley and all of the necessary safety supplies. You may also want to consider hiring a crew to assist you. By having a team of seasoned professional fishermen, you can better position your operation for success. Lastly, there will be some paperwork matters that you will want to address. Understandably, you did not get into commercial fishing to spend your days filling out documents, but you will need to work with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on occasion in order to get the licenses and permits that you need. Fortunately, by working with us at the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, you can apply for all the licenses you need on one convenient website.
At a fundamental level, commercial fishing, that is to say, the practice of catching and selling fish, is an ancient trade. For hundreds of years, people have made their living by selling their catch. As this profession is fairly simple in its methods, you may not associate it with a lot of bureaucratic red tape. In truth, however, it is important to recognize that you are extracting a natural resource–potentially on federal waters–and selling it for a profit. Commercial fishing is a major, multi-billion dollar business in the United States, and in order to maintain fair competition and prevent overfishing, the National Marine Fisheries Service issues important regulations and guidelines. By assigning permits, and licenses, and enforcing quotas, the NMFS can help protect our nation’s fisheries for future generations of commercial fishermen.
What is the National Marine Fisheries Service?
The United States is home to thousands of miles of coastline on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Up and down the east coast, west coast, and shores of Alaska, there are many well-stocked fisheries that businesses access. Much of these waters fall under federal jurisdiction. More specifically, anything between three and 200 nautical miles out from land constitutes federal territory. The area between the shore and three nautical miles out, as well as anything inland, is typically regulated by the state. Federal waters are monitored and governed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Within the NOAA, there is a division called the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is often informally called NOAA fisheries. Using a data-driven and science-based approach, the NMFS works to keep United States fisheries as sustainable as possible. If you are planning to fish in the United States Exclusive Economic Zone, you will need to obtain the appropriate permits from the NOAA and NMFS.
Obtaining the NMFS Fishing Permits that You Need
In the early days of launching your commercial fishing business, you will certainly have your work cut out for you. Central to your overall planning should be your business plan. This document should outline your overhead costs and the financial viability of your particular market. A major tenet to that business plan, however, is ultimately what you will be fishing for, and where you will be fishing, specifically. Any angler worth their salt will tell you to go wherever the fish are biting, and this is equally true in the world of commercial and industrial fishing. If you are fishing in federal waters, you will want to obtain your permits from the NOAA. For their part, this agency separates out their permit offerings by region, including Alaska, the Pacific Islands, the West Coast, the South, and the Atlantic. Within each region, there are a number of species-specific licenses that you can obtain, such as American lobster in the Atlantic, or Sablefish up on in Alaska.
To get your NMFS permits, you can work with the agency directly by sourcing the correct paper applications, filling them out by hand, and mailing them back to their office for processing. Of course, you can also work with us at the Commercial Fishing Permits Center. We have online forms that you can use to apply for state or federal commercial fishing licenses.
Use Our Online Forms Today!
No matter what type of commercial fishing license you need, we have got you covered. Take a minute or two to browse our website and see for yourself. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our helpful customer service agents by phone or email today.