When Do You Need a Fishing Permit for Commercial Activity?

Fishing Permit

Are you considering starting a new career in commercial fishing? If so, it may be a celebratory time, as you are finally turning your interest in fishing into a profession. Of course, starting your own commercial fishing business is by no means easy, and there will be quite a bit of preparation required before you can head out on the water. At the outset, you will have to make sure that you have a boat that is equipped for the rigorous demands of commercial or industrial fishing. This can mean installing new equipment, stocking up on life jackets, and keeping a fully assembled first aid kit. You may also need to hire assistance in the form of a seasoned crew. As any business owner will tell you, hiring decisions are some of the most difficult and important choices you will make–this is especially true in the demanding world of commercial fishing. Lastly, there will be some paperwork to complete. Outside of drawing up a business plan and laying some accounting groundwork, you will also need a state and/or federal commercial fishing permit.

If you have any previous experience with entrepreneurship–or if you have spent much time in the business world–you are likely familiar with the process of obtaining permits in order to legally operate certain types of businesses. Commercial fishing, which relies on the extraction of a natural resource, is no exception, and it is a fairly well-regulated industry. In your time as a hobby fisherman, you probably had to obtain a fishing license annually from your state’s department of natural resources (or a similarly named agency). The good news is, the process for obtaining a commercial license is not terribly dissimilar, and at the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we can help you apply for your licenses online. 

How to Obtain a Federal Commercial Fishing Permit

In the early days of planning out your commercial fishing business, there are a number of decisions that you will need to make. One of your more important determinations, however, is where you will fish, and what you will be fishing for. To some extent, this choice will be influenced by the demands of your market. Moreso, though, you will need to operate within the confines of your local geography. As the saying goes, you also have to go where the fish are biting, and that can mean finding yourself operating on federal waters, which are regulated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Federal waters are, generally, the area from three to 200 nautical miles from land. As the United States is home to nearly 100,000 miles of coastline, the area encompassing federal waters is considerably large. One way in which the NOAA manages to regulate such a massive volume of the territory is by issuing different federal fishing permits by region. Specifically, the NOAA maps out its various commercial fishing licenses by those available in Alaska, the West Coast, the Pacific Islands, the South, and the Atlantic. While there is some overlap in terms of availability, most of these regions have geography-specific permits for species native to that area. For example, there are permits for netting halibut in Alaska, and licenses for American lobster trapped off the shores of Maine.

If you are going to require commercial fishing licenses at the federal level, you have a couple of pathways for obtaining them. Your first option is to work directly with the NOAA. You can visit their website, locate the licenses you need, download PDF copies, print them, fill them out by hand, and bring them down to the post office to mail and process. Of course, going that route can quickly become time-consuming, especially if you need multiple permits. You may find that an easier option is to work with a private service such as ours at the Commercial Fishing Permits Center. We have an assortment of easy-to-fill web forms that you can use to apply for your NOAA permits online.

Fishing Permit

Getting the State Fishing Permits You Need

State waters, which are typically anything inland, as well as the waters from zero to three nautical miles from shore, will fall under more local jurisdiction. The permits that you will specifically need to operate your business on state waters will depend on the rules of your state’s designated agency, but as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to need at least some form of a commercial fishing license

At the Commercial Fishing Permits Center, we can help you in this area as well. If you take a moment to browse our website, you will see that we offer web applications for a wide array of different state-level commercial fishing licenses. By doing this, we are able to provide a one-stop shopping experience for all of your commercial fishing license needs. To learn more, contact one of our friendly customer service agents by phone or email today.

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Scroll to Top