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Hi:
I live in New Jersey and my new used boat is capable of passing the Coast Guard inspection for use as a commercial fishing vessel. I need to decide whether to get a commercial tuna permit instead of the regular tuna permit. As I see it, the disadvantage to the commercial permit is that you can not keep any bluefin tuna that are not at least 73". The advantages are that you have no bag limit on any other tunas and the same size limits on other tunas as the recreational license. You are also permitted to legally sell your catch. I don't see many boats in my area displaying the Coast Guard approval so I am wondering if there are other disadvantages to holding the commercial tuna permit rather than the recreational. Any opinion or advice
appreciated.
Thanks,Joseph
 

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I think it'll boil down to "how much do you want to keep large BFT?".

If you're just fishing for pure fun and keep a few for the grill, then get the rec permit. If you want to feed the masses and/or sell your fish, better get the commercial permit.

Dunno how much scrutiny you get from the CG if you're a commercial boat vs. sportfishing vessel.
 

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You wont be able to sell your catch to a legit dealer without the comm. permit. Remember, a BFT of that size is 230/240 up to 400-600lbs. When we go for Giants off Nantucket we keep our one or two (depending on the slots)and sell them at the dock. On those trips I've personally released 150-200lb BFTs because they were too small. So with the Giant there really is none of that carving loins at the dock for the grill cause if you start to cut em up you'll end up giving away tons of fish to friends resturants etc.. cause the wholesaler or the asian market wont want them. Also when fishing for the big boys it's usually a one a day slot, catch one and head home, This is not catch and release time. Just my two cents.
 

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Another issue that you need to deal with is the USCG requires additional equipment for commercial licenses. For starters, all commercial guys are required to carry a USCG approved liferaft, so add another $2,500 to the list
 

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The biggest problem I see you may have is when the comm. season closes you wont be able to fish. If you get the rec. liscence you can fish the closed comm. days. That may be a big factor for you since you don't appear to be fishing to sell( this is info on giants, I'm not sure about the other tunas and sale provisions).

Capt. Spike
 
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