Your Questions About Alaska Federal Commercial Fishing Answered

alaska federal commercial fishing

Does it seem like the Alaska federal commercial fishing permit process is more difficult than it should be? Are you trying to determine whether or not it’s worth it to expand your commercial fishing operation into Alaska? We can help with both. If you’re considering the latter, it’s almost assuredly worth it. For a variety of reasons, Alaska commercial fishing can be profitable indeed. Below, we’ve collected a few of the more common questions that we’ve been asked about commercial fishing in Alaska. 

Who Has to Be Licensed for Commercial Fishing?

Any vessel that’s going to be used for commercial fishing or activities related to that has to be licensed. In terms of the latter, that includes transporter vessels, processing vessels, packers, and others (in addition to fishing vessels). . In fact, guided charter vessels have to be licensed as well (although they have to be licensed with the “ADFG,” the “Alaska Department of Fish and Game.” 

alaska federal commercial fishing

I Have a Foreign Vessel. Can I License it in Alaska? 

In short, no. If you have a vessel that is documented in a foreign country, then you are unable to get it licensed to fish commercially in Alaska. Moreover, you can’t fish in the Federal waters of the EEZ, nor can you use it to process fish (unless the Governor has approved it). That said, you may not be entirely out of luck. For example, it was determined (in 1989) that you may be able to operate your vessel as a tender or packer, so long as you take product onboard not at sea, but rather, in established harbors, ports, and roadsteads. There are other regulations to using foreign vessels in this capacity as well. If you have any questions about how this works, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

Do I Need to Have a USCG Documentation Number to Be Licensed? 

You do unless you have a current, up-to-date Alaska registration (depending on your vessel). For example, if your vessel utilizes an engine that is a minimum of ten horsepower that is used on Alaska’s navigable waters and isn’t documented must have an Alaskan registration number. You get those through the DMV. However, if your vessel measures more than five net tons, then you should get USCG documentation for your vessel. You can do that through our site as well. 

Where Can I Find Alaska Federal Commercial Fishing Permits? 

While we make it easier for commercial fishing professionals like yourself to get the United States Coast Guard documentation that your vessel may need, we can help with so much more than that. Indeed, at our site right now, you can find the documentation you’ll need to fish for dozens of Alaska species. From groundfish to crab, scallop to Chinook salmon, and everything in between, basically, if there’s a way to profit from commercial fishing in Alaskan waters, you can find the forms for it right here at our site. 

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