Fisher, Commercial

License required by 43 states

97th most burdensome licensing requirements.

30th most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

Commercial fishers use nets, fishing rods, traps or other equipment to catch and gather fish or other aquatic animals from rivers, lakes or oceans for human consumption or other uses. This report looks at what is required to run one’s own commercial fishing business.

Forty-three states require commercial fishers to have a license. A fee is generally the only requirement for a license, except for in a handful of states that set a minimum age. Fees vary quite a bit, from $2 in Wisconsin to $500 in Montana and Nevada. In several states, license fees vary according to the type of fish being caught, the type of water being fished on (saltwater versus freshwater), the type of vessel being used, or the number and type of fishing tools being used (nets, traps, etc.). In such cases, when possible, the least restrictive options were observed. The average fee is $142, giving the occupation the 97th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied here. However, because it is widely licensed, commercial fisher is the 30th most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Connecticut 43 $385 0 0 0 16
2 New York 43 $250 0 0 0 16
3 Washington 43 $200 0 0 0 16
4 California 43 $137 0 0 0 16
5 Montana 43 $500 0 0 0 0
5 Nevada 43 $500 0 0 0 0
7 Georgia 43 $17 0 0 0 18
8 Oregon 43 $454 0 0 0 0
9 Oklahoma 43 $427 0 0 0 0
10 North Carolina 43 $400 0 0 0 0
11 Maryland 43 $300 0 0 0 0
12 Iowa 43 $202 0 0 0 0
13 Tennessee 43 $200 0 0 0 0
14 Massachusetts 43 $195 0 0 0 0
15 Virginia 43 $190 0 0 0 0
16 Delaware 43 $150 0 0 0 0
16 Kentucky 43 $150 0 0 0 0
16 Utah 43 $150 0 0 0 0
19 Minnesota 43 $120 0 0 0 0
20 Idaho 43 $112 0 0 0 0
21 New Jersey 43 $102 0 0 0 0
22 Alabama 43 $100 0 0 0 0
23 Alaska 43 $99 0 0 0 0
23 Nebraska 43 $99 0 0 0 0
25 Michigan 43 $66 0 0 0 0
26 Illinois 43 $60 0 0 0 0
27 Louisiana 43 $55 0 0 0 0
28 Texas 43 $53 0 0 0 0
29 Hawaii 43 $50 0 0 0 0
29 New Hampshire 43 $50 0 0 0 0
29 Rhode Island 43 $50 0 0 0 0
32 Maine 43 $48 0 0 0 0
33 Colorado 43 $40 0 0 0 0
34 Mississippi 43 $30 0 0 0 0
35 Arkansas 43 $25 0 0 0 0
35 Florida 43 $25 0 0 0 0
35 Missouri 43 $25 0 0 0 0
35 New Mexico 43 $25 0 0 0 0
35 South Carolina 43 $25 0 0 0 0
40 Indiana 43 $20 0 0 0 0
40 Ohio 43 $20 0 0 0 0
42 North Dakota 43 $15 0 0 0 0
43 Wisconsin 43 $2 0 0 0 0

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