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.
Apply for your Saltwater Fishing Licenses today!
A saltwater product is defined as any marine fish, shellfish, clam, invertebrate, sponge, jellyfish, coral, crustacean, lobster, crab, shrimp, snail, marine plant, echnioderm, sea star, brittle star or urchin, etc., except non-living shells and salted, cured, canned or smoked seafood.
Click here to read the Regulations Guide
Commercial Regulations Quick Chart
View Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Commercial data and information
- 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.
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- Attention shrimpers: Giant Tiger Prawn
Crabs, Lobster, etc.
Other State and Federal Information
Learn more by visiting MyFWC.com/License
Saltwater Products License (SPL)
You must have an SPL in order to do any of the following:
- Sell, barter or exchange for merchandise any saltwater products;
- Harvest over the recreational bag limit;
- Harvest over 100 pounds or 2 saltwater fish per person per day (whichever is greater) for species that do not have an established bag limit; or
- Use certain gear or equipment as specified by law.
You must have the SPL to commercially harvest and sell saltwater products, and you may sell only to a licensed Florida wholesale dealer.
The license may be issued to an individual applicant or a valid vessel registration number. A company must be registered with FL Dept. of State, Division of Corporations prior to applying for a license.
Restricted Species Endorsement (RS)
The RS is required for those wishing to exceed the recreational bag limit and/or sell those species designated as a "restricted species."
To qualify for the RS, you must provide acceptable proof that a specified amount or percentage of your total annual income (usually $5,000 or 25 percent) during one of the past three years is attributable to reported landings and sales of non-restricted saltwater products to a Florida wholesale dealer.
More information about qualifying for the RS.
Additional endorsements are required for those wishing to commercially harvest/sell blue crab, crawfish (spiny lobster), stone crab, sponges and species designated as ornamental "Marine Life" to use a purse seine; and to simultaneously possess a gillnet and pompano harvested from federal waters while in transit across state waters in the Cape Sable/Hurricane Pass area.
A Lampara Net Endorsement is required for the directed harvest of ballyhoo with a Lampara net by individuals who also hold the SPL and PS. Only those individuals who apply and qualify for the endorsement may renew. Ballyhoo may be harvested within the established daily vessel limit as an incidental catch under the PS.
Trap certificates and tags
These are required for those wishing to commercially harvest spiny lobster, blue crab and stone crab with traps. The FWC assesses certificate fees and ships tags.
Information about buying and selling certificates and tags.
Commercial Dive Permit (CD#)
This permit is required in order to commercially dive for lobster. Eligibility for the dive permit was based on reported commercial dive landings in 2001-02 and 2002-03. The permit will not be issued to fishermen with trap certificates. No new dive permits will be available.
More information about the CD#.
Other licenses are required for clamming in Brevard County, shrimping in Tampa Bay and the St. Johns River, and using chemicals to collect Marine Life.
Wholesale and retail dealers
A Wholesale Saltwater Products Dealer License (WD) is required to sell saltwater products to any customer except the consumer and to buy from persons holding an SPL or another licensed wholesale dealer in the counties specified on the license. Wholesale dealers must report purchases to the Commission when products are landed or sold for the first time.
A Retail Saltwater Products Dealer License (RC) is required to sell any saltwater products to the end consumer. A retail dealer may purchase only from a wholesale dealer. The RC is not required when products are prepared for consumption or take-out under a license issued by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants.
Wholesale and retail dealers who produce their own products under an SPL must also report those landings to the FWC. Landings under an RC may not be used to qualify for the RS. Reporting requirements for dealers are found in Ch. 68-E, F.A.C.
A person transporting saltwater products in this state - regardless of destination - must maintain possession of invoices, bills of lading or other similar instruments showing the number of packages, boxes or containers and the number of pounds of each species and the name, physical address and the Florida wholesale dealer number of the dealer of origin.