Do you have questions about commercial fisheries? Read the commercial fisheries FAQ for answers.

What is the difference between commercial food fish and tropical marine life?
Commercial food fish are fish that you eat, like grouper, snapper, and flounder. In addition to providing food, commercial food fish and invertebrates are used for bait and other purposes. For example, horseshoe crab blood can be used for medical purposes and sponges can be used for cleaning. Marine life or tropical ornamentals are species that are used in the aquarium or souvenir trade, like seahorses, anemones, and angelfish.

What are the requirements to sell my catch?
To sell your catch in Florida, you must have a valid Saltwater Products License (SPL). You may also need endorsements to the SPL for certain species and use of certain gear types. Federal commercial fishing permits may be necessary as well. Additional state and federal requirements must be met if you harvest certain species.

  • Information about federal permits can be found at the National Marine Fisheries Service Web site:
  • Visit Licenses & Permits to download appropriate state forms or fill out an online submission form for a Saltwater Products License.

Where can I sell my catch?
In Florida, you can sell your catch to wholesale dealers licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Wholesale dealers may need corresponding federal dealer permits to purchase certain species in certain areas. Only sales to wholesale dealers count toward the Restricted Species Endorsement. All transactions must be reported to the FWC on marine fisheries trip tickets. For more information on licensing, please visit the FWC's Licenses and Permits section.

What is a trip ticket?
A marine fisheries trip ticket, designed to capture catch and market information from a dealer dock or weigh-out receipt, is used to record the required catch and effort information for each commercial fishing trip.

How many commercial fishers are there in Florida?
In the 2006-2007 license year, 11,225 commercial saltwater licenses were issued. Of those, the 5270 commercial fishers who held 6513 commercial Saltwater Products Licenses were responsible for all landings of commercial fishery products.

How can I correct trip ticket data that has already been reported to the FWC?
Report the correction in writing, and attach the appropriate documentation. Required documentation may include copies of dealer weigh-out sheets, the fisher's copy of the trip ticket, and the dealer's notification of the correction. In special circumstances, an audit may be required. For more information, please contact the trip ticket office at (727) 896-8626.

Where would I find rules and regulations?
Visit the Saltwater Fishing Regulations section for information regarding rules and regulations regarding Florida's commercial and recreational marine species.

FWC Facts:
The star coral may live for several centuries and grow to the size of an automobile. Its growth rate ranges from about 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch of yearly outward expansion.

Learn More at AskFWC