Unlock the Cost of a Commercial Fishing License: A Comprehensive Guide

How Much is a Commercial Fishing License?

Commercial fishing licenses are essential for individuals or businesses looking to engage in commercial fishing activities legally. While the cost of a commercial fishing license may vary depending on various factors, such as location and type of fishery, this blog post will provide you with an overview of how much you can expect to pay for obtaining a commercial fishing license.

Factors Influencing the Cost

The cost of a commercial fishing license is influenced by several key factors:

Type of Fishery

Different types of fisheries require different licenses. For instance, if you’re interested in harvesting shellfish like clams or oysters, you might need a separate license compared to those targeting finfish like salmon or cod. The specific type(s) of fishery you intend to engage in will have an impact on the overall cost.


The geographic location where you plan to conduct your commercial fishing operations also plays a significant role in determining the price of your license. Costs can vary from state to state or country to country due to differences in regulations and management strategies.

Average Costs by Region/Country

Note that these figures are general estimates and may not reflect exact prices for every jurisdiction:

United States (US)

  • In Alaska: The average annual cost ranges between $250 – $1,500 per person depending on the type and scale of operation.
  • In California: A five-year limited entry permit for certain species costs around $300.
  • In Florida: Annual fees range from approximately $50 – $400 depending on vessel size and residency status.
  • In Maine: Resident lobster licenses can cost around $60 – $160 per year, while non-resident licenses can go up to $525.


  • In British Columbia (BC): A commercial fishing license in BC costs approximately $157 for a salmon troll endorsement or $334 for a prawn and shrimp trap endorsement.
  • In Newfoundland and Labrador: The cost varies based on factors such as species and size of the boat, but it can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars per year.

Add-on Costs

It’s important to note that additional fees may apply depending on specific circumstances:

Vessel Registration

In many cases, commercial fishing boats will also need to be registered. Fees associated with vessel registration vary depending on the country and size of the vessel. This is an extra expense you should consider when calculating the total cost of obtaining your commercial fishing license.

Crew Licenses and Permits

If you plan to employ crew members in your fishing operations, they may also require separate licenses or permits. These costs should be factored into your budget alongside acquiring your own license.


The actual cost of a commercial fishing license depends on various factors like type of fishery, location, and jurisdictional regulations. It’s crucial to research local requirements thoroughly before pursuing a commercial fishing venture – this will help ensure compliance with applicable laws while avoiding any unforeseen financial burdens. Remember that prices mentioned in this blog post are only rough estimates; contacting local regulatory authorities will provide more accurate information specific to your situation!