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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Commercial Fishing FAQs

Marine Fisheries

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Commercial Fishing License Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

This FAQ list is intended to summarize applicable rules and to assist fishermen.
It is not a substitute for the rules.

General License Questions

Q. - Where can Division of Marine Fisheries licenses be purchased?
A. - All Division of Marine Fisheries' license offices can sell and renew all licenses.  In addition to Division of Marine Fisheries' license offices, some Wildlife Resources Commission agents will sell the Recreational Commercial Gear License.

Q. - Will all Division of Marine Fisheries' license offices process license transfers?
A. - Any Division of Marine Fisheries' license office can process license transfers except for the License to Land Flounder from the Atlantic Ocean License. This license can only be transferred in the Morehead City office.

Q. – To be eligible for licenses within a certain deadline, do the licenses need to be received by the Division of Marine Fisheries or is the postmark date adequate?
A. – The postmark date will serve as the date for applying for licenses by a specified timeframe.

Q. – Who is considered the responsible party of a license?
A. – A person who coordinates, supervises or otherwise directs operations of a business, such as a corporate officer or executive level supervisor of business operations and the person responsible for use of the issued license in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The responsible party of a business is referred to as the Business Agent.

Q. – How do I replace a lost commercial fishing license?
A. – You can apply for a replacement at any Division of Marine Fisheries' license office and you will be charged a replacement fee.

Standard or Retired Commercial Fishing License
(Including Endorsements and Assignments)


Q. - Who is eligible to purchase a Standard or Retired Commercial Fishing License?
A. - Both residents and nonresidents who hold a valid Standard or Retired Commercial Fishing License and renew their license(s) each year can retain this license. An applicant that completes an Eligibility Application and is approved by the Eligibility Board has a specified time-frame to purchase this license.

Q. – Who can be assigned the Standard Commercial Fishing License?
A. – The Standard Commercial Fishing License can be assigned to any eligible person who does not have any license suspensions or revocations.

Q. – Can a Retired Standard Commercial Fishing License be assigned?
A. – No.

Q. – Can the Shellfish Endorsement on the Standard Commercial Fishing License be assigned?
A. – Yes.

Q. – Can I assign my Standard Commercial Fishing License without assigning my endorsements?
A. – Yes, you can assign the Standard Commercial Fishing License but do not have to assign an endorsements. You cannot harvest shellfish with only the endorsement if you assigned the Standard Commercial Fishing License and retained the endorsement.

Q. – Will all Division of Marine Fisheries' license offices process Standard Commercial Fishing License assignments?
A. – Yes.

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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