Commercial Saltwater Fishing

Before commercially harvesting or selling any marine fish or other saltwater products in Florida, you must be eligible for and comply with the license requirements described farther down on this page.Commercial Regulations Publication

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A saltwater product is defined as any marine fish, shellfish, clam, invertebrate, sponge, jellyfish, coral, crustacean, lobster, crab, shrimp, snail, marine plant, echinoderm, sea star, brittle star or urchin, etc., except non-living shells and salted, cured, canned or smoked seafood.

Read the Regulations Guide Adobe PDF

Commercial Regulations Quick ChartAdobe PDF

View Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Commercial data and information


Latest News

  • Important Commercial Spiny Lobster Dive Endorsement (CD) Reminder Adobe PDF 

  • Sea Cucumber: The FWC Commission approved a draft rule at the February 2014 meeting, that, if approved at a future meeting, could establish a commercial daily trip and vessel limit of 200 individual sea cucumbers. Learn more.
  • Swordfish:The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several changes to state swordfish rules recently. These changes went into effect Feb. 13. Changes affecting commercial harvest include:

    • Designating swordfish as a restricted species.
    • Exempting commercial harvesters who possess a Swordfish General Commercial permit or a Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat permit (when not on a for-hire trip) from the recreational bag and vessel limits. Permit holders must abide by HMS regional vessel limits.
    • Allowing the sale of commercially caught swordfish under these permits.
    • Closing state waters to commercial harvest if adjacent federal waters are closed.
    • Requiring wholesale dealers purchasing swordfish to possess a valid federal Atlantic Swordfish Dealer permit. This change affects wholesale dealers in both the Atlantic and Gulf.
    • Allowing transit of swordfish through state waters when harvested in federal waters with gear that is legal to use in federal waters.

    Changes that affect commercial and recreational harvest:

    • Restricting gear to hook and line in state waters.
    • Modifying the minimum cleithrum-to-keel (CK) limit from 29 to 25 inches for all harvesters. The cleithrum is the bony area right behind the gill slit, and the keel is the horizontal ridge right before the tail fin (see photo). There is no change to the lower jaw fork length measurement also used when measuring swordfish.
    • Swordfish measurments
  • FWC Notice to Commercial Mullet Fishermen:

    During the 2011–2012 mullet run the FWC received numerous complaints regarding large amounts of roe mullet being discarded into the water dead and violations involving the improper storage, cooling and transportation of fish by harvesters. FWC Officers will be conducting proactive random quality control inspections throughout the mullet run season to ensure compliance with fisheries regulations and seafood quality control. For more information on this notice, please view the Notice to Commercial Fishermen.Adobe PDF

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FWC Facts:
Shrimping is done at night because at least two of the principal shrimp species harvested in Florida, the pink shrimp and the brown shrimp, are nocturnal.

Learn More at AskFWC