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Commercial Fishing & Aquaculture Permits

Use the links to jump to a section of licenses/permits by activity or category:

Bait Collection/Sale
License/Permit Name Brief Description Additional
Information
Freshwater bait
(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. Application for license (PDF 25 KB)

Bait and overland transport regulations
Marine bait (menhaden, silversides, killifish) For taking and selling Atlantic menhaden (bunker), silversides and killifish as bait at retail only.
Fee: $50.

To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0470.
Menhaden Purse Seine Vessel Allows use of purse seine (a large commercial net) to take menhaden/bunker (a large herring from which oil and fish meal is prepared). Only issued to holders of a commercial marine foodfish permit.
Fee: Varies by vessel size.
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.
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.
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.
To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0444.
Aquaculture & Hatcheries
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
at 631-444-0483.
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.

Crab & Lobster Fisheries
License/Permit Name Description/Requirement Additional Information
Crab Permit (limited entry) Authorizes taking, landing, and selling more than the recreational limit of 50 crabs for commercial purposes.
Fee: $30 (resident); $50 (non-resident)
To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0470.
Horseshoe Crab Permit Authorizes taking and selling of more than the recreational limit of five horseshoe crabs for commercial purposes. Horseshoe crab commercial fishing limits are based on quota allotted to the state by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Only issued to holders of a crab permit.
Lobster Landing
Allows legally harvested lobsters from waters outside of New York State to be landed in New York State ports/marinas.
Fee: $300
Finfish Fisheries
License/Permit Name Description/Requirement Additional Information
Commercial Inland Fisheries
(Hudson River south of Tappan Zee Bridge)
Allows a person to take and sell fish (such as whitefish, catfish, white perch, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, carp, suckers, freshwater drum, burbot, and bowfin) with commercial gear ranging from eel pots, eel weirs, fyke nets, gill nets, powerboats, scap nets, seine nets, set lines, or trap nets. American eels can only be sold as bait.
Fee: Varies by gear type
Application for Hudson River Marine Permit (PDF 84 KB)
Marine Foodfish Allows a person to take food fish from the waters of the marine and coastal district, and to land and sell fish taken from outside the waters of the state.
Fee: $250 (resident); $1,250 (non-resident).
Submit a Vessel Trip Report or report online.

To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0470.
Marine Foodfish Landing Allows a person to land food fish taken from waters outside of the state of New York. The holder must have a commercial fishing license either from another state or from the federal government.
Fee: $500.
Pound or Trap Net(Little/Great Peconic Bay only) Allows an individual to operate a pound or trap net in specific waters of Little and Great Peconic Bay in Suffolk County to take fish for commercial purposes. To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0483.
Shellfish/Mollusk Fisheries
License/Permit Name Description/Requirement Additional Information
Shellfish Digger For harvesting shellfish (hard clams, blue mussels, oysters and soft clams) from "certified" water bodies/underwater lands. Also allows the individual to ship and sell their harvest to the holder of a valid shipper's permit.
Fee: $50 (resident); $150 (non-resident)
To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at
631-444-0470.
Blue Mussel Authorizes using mechanical means to take a limited quantity of blue mussels from specified waters. Without this permit, blue mussels may be taken with hand operated 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 the 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.
Whelk/Conch Permit
(limited entry)
For harvesting and landing 25 or more whelks in one day from New York State marine waters.
Shellfish Sanitization, Transplant/Salvage/Relay
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.
To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0483.
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.
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Dealers/Shippers/Processors
License/Permit Name Description/Requirement Additional
Information
Foodfish & Crustacean Dealers & Shippers Allows a person (or employees of such person) to:
  • purchase and resell, trade or barter marine fish or crustaceans as food or bait;
  • operate a facility for packing, holding or storing such marine fish or crustaceans prior to consignment, transport or sale;
  • ship, transport or traffic in marine fish or crustaceans for resale, trade or barter to persons other than the final consumer within the state ·
  • export food fish or crustacea landed in New York to outside the state.
To apply or get more details, contact Bureau of Marine Resources at
631-444-0470.
Shellfish Shippers & Processors
(Classes A-E)
There are 5 different types of permits for shipping, processing and/or packing shellfish.
  • Class A - Shipper ($300)
  • Class B - Processor ($600)
  • Class C - Reshipper ($200)
  • Class D - Digger/Shipper ($75)
  • Class E - Bay Scallop Shucker/Packer ($50)