Commercial Fishing & Aquaculture Permits
Use the links to jump to a section of licenses/permits by activity or category:
- Bait Collection/Sale
- Aquaculture & Hatcheries
- Lobster and Crab Fisheries
- Commercial Finfish Fisheries
- Shellfish & Whelk Fisheries
- Shellfish Transplant & Relay
- Party & Charter Boat
|License/Permit Name||Brief Description||Fees||Additional
(fish & insects)
|For taking and selling certain freshwater fish and aquatic insects as bait, such as: minnows, darters, sticklebacks, tadpoles, smelt or ice fish, suckers, alewives or sawbellies.||Varies||Application for license (PDF 25 KB)
Bait and overland transport regulations
|Marine Bait||For taking and selling Atlantic menhaden (bunker), silversides and killifish as bait at retail only.
To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0470.
|Surfclam Bait Harvesting||Allows for the taking of surf clams from "uncertified" areas of the Atlantic Ocean for bait purposes only. Only issued to holders of a shellfish digger's permit.||None|
|Ribbed Mussel Bait (Town of Hempstead only)||Allows a New York State resident to harvest ribbed "bank" mussels (Modiolus demissus) for use as bait from uncertified areas within the Town of Hempstead. Only issued to holders of a shellfish digger's permit.||None|
|License/Permit Name||Description/Requirements||Additional Information|
|Freshwater Fish Hatcheries
(black bass or trout/salmon)
|For breeding, rearing and selling black bass (largemouth bass and smallmouth bass) or trout/salmon for stocking or exhibition purposes. Largemouth bass may be sold and distributed for human consumption (for more details, visit the Black Bass Transportation and Sale FAQs page).||To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Fisheries at 518-402-8924|
|Marine Hatchery||For raising and breeding marine plant and animal life, including but not limited to molluscs, lobster, crab, shrimp and fish. Also allows for the sale of hatchery products of legal or less than legal size to other permitted marine hatcheries and hatchery/culture permit holders.||To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources
|On/Off Bottom Culture||For raising and culturing marine plant or animal life, including containment on, or in, any rack, raft, float, cage, or similar structure and/or in any natural waters of New York State. Products are raised for eventual sale as a food product.|
|Marine Fish Importation||Allows the importation and introduction of marine fish for cultivation purposes. Only issued to holders of a marine hatchery permit or an on/off bottom culture permit.|
|Shellfish Importation||Allows shellfish culturist to import shellfish of legal or less than legal size into New York State for cultivation/aquaculture purposes. Only issued to holders of a marine hatchery permit or an on/off bottom culture permit.|
|Shellfish Bed||Allows a shellfish grower to cultivate and market shellfish harvested from waters designated as "certified" on the permit. Used on privately owned underwater lands. Deed or title of underwater land, or letter of permission from landowner must be provided.|
|Temporary Marine Area Use Assignment||5-acre circular grant of state owned underwater lands to be used for shellfish cultivation purposes. Shellfish must be held in off-bottom culture gear only.|
|Contact & Additional Information|
|Allows the permit holder to take and land lobsters (Homerus americanus) from state waters or land lobsters taken from outside state waters for commercial purposes (for sale, trade, or barter)||$150||$225||Bureau of Marine Resources:
|Lobster Landing||Allows legally harvested lobsters from waters outside of New York State to be landed in New York State ports/marinas.
|Lobster Recreational Permit (Resident, non-commercials)||Allows the permit holder to set no more than five lobster pots, and take or land no more thansix legal lobsters in one day by this or any other legal method for the holder's own or family use.||$10|
|Lobster Bait Gill Net||Allows for commercial lobster harvesters to take bait fish with one 300 foot long gill net in an area where the use of gill nets is otherwise prohibited by law. Only issued to holders of a lobster commercial permit.
|Crab Permit (limited entry)||Authorizes taking, landing, and selling more than the recreational limit of 50 crabs for commercial purposes.
|Horseshoe Crab Permit||Authorizes taking and selling of more than the recreational limit of five horseshoe crabs for commercial purposes. Only issued to holders of a crab permit.||None|
|Whelk/Conch License (limited entry)||Allows the permit holder to harvest and land whelks from state marine waters for commercial purposes||None|
|License/Permit Name||Description/Requirement||Resident Fee||Non- Resident
|Contact for Additional Information|
|Hudson River Marine Permit
(Hudson River south of Troy Dam)
|Allows a person to take and sell fish from the Hudson River with commercial gear. American eels can only be sold as bait.
Varies by gear type
|Application for Hudson River Marine Permit (PDF 84 KB)|
|Marine Food Fish||Allows a person to take food fish from the waters of the marine and coastal district, and to land food fish taken from outside the waters of the state for commercial purposes.
||$250||$1,250||Submit a Vessel Trip Report or report online.
Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0470.
|Marine Food Fish Landing||Allows a person to land food fish legally taken from waters outside of the state of New York for commercial purposes.
|Menhaden Purse Seine Vessel||Allows use of purse seine to take menhaden (bunker). Only issued to holders of a commercial foodfishing license.
||Varies by vessel size||Bureau of Marine Resources:
|Contact for Additional Information|
|Shellfish Digger||Allows a person to harvest hard clams, mussels and scallops from "certified" or open state waters for commercial purposes.
||$50||$150||Bureau of Marine Resources at
|Blue Mussel||Authorizes using a dredge to take a limited quantity of blue mussels from specified waters. Without this permit, blue mussels may be taken with hand gear only. Only issued to holders of a shellfish digger's permit.
|Surfclam/Ocean Quahog||Allows a New York State resident to harvest surf clams and/or ocean quahogs by mechanical means from selected waters of select areas of the marine and coastal district, but not the Atlantic Ocean. Only issued to holders of a shellfish digger's permit.||None|
|For harvesting and landing 25 or more whelks in one day from New York State marine waters.||None|
|License/Permit Name||Description/Requirement||Additional Information|
|Seed Relay||Allows commercial harvesters working on privately owned underwater lands to possess and transplant shellfish that are less than legal size. Only issued to holders of an On/Off Bottom Culture Permit.
||Contact the Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0481.|
|Shellfish Transplant||Authorizes the harvest, transplant, and relay of shellfish (oysters, scallops and all kinds of clams and mussels) from uncertified areas of the state for cleaning and eventual marketing as a food product, or to transfer shellfish from areas in other states into New York State shellfish lands. Only issued to holders of an On/Off Bottom Culture Permit.|
|Shellfish Transplant - hand harvest||Allows a person to hand harvest shellfish in connection with the activities allowed by a shellfish transplant permit. Only issued to holders of a Shellfish Digger's Permit.
|Scallop Salvage and Relay||Allows a person to salvage and transplant bay scallops at any age to prevent destruction from predators, wind and tidal action, or other causes. Only issued to holders of a Shellfish Digger's Permit.
|Shellfish Population Survey||Authorizes the harvesting and surveying of shellfish in "uncertified" or "certified" waters of New York State, for the purpose of determining the quantity of shellfish in a specific location. Population surveys are undertaken as part of shellfish management programs.|
|License/Permit Name||Description/Requirement||Resident Fee||Additional
|Party & Charter Boat License||Allows an individual to operate a party boat or charter boat within te marine and coastal district to take paying customers on fishing trips to catch and land fish according to state recreational regulations||$250||Contact the Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0481|
|License/Permit Name||Description/Requirement||Resident Fee||Non-Resident Fee||Additional
|Foodfish & Crustacean Dealers & Shippers||Allows a person or their employees to:
||$250||Bureau of Marine Resources at
|Shellfish Shippers & Processors
|There are 5 different types of permits for shipping, processing and/or packing shellfish.
Class A: $300
Class B: $600
Class C: $200
Class D: $75