Commercial Fishing
Licenses and Permits FAQs

General Frequently Asked Questions

Please see the appropriate webpage accessible form the sidebar menu (ex: Catcher-Seller or Transporter) for more specific FAQ's.

General FAQs

  • What do I need to sell my unprocessed catch off my boat?
    You need a permit from the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and a Catcher-Seller permit from Alaska Fish & Game.
  • Who is a 'Catcher-Seller'?
    A person who sells unprocessed fish, that were legally taken by the Catcher-Seller to the general public for use for noncommercial purposes; for use as bait for commercial or noncommercial purposes; or to restaurants, grocery stores, and established fish markets or by shipping to licensed processers in the state (See 5 AAC 39.130 (l)).
  • Can I ship my fish as a Catcher-Seller?
    Only within the state of Alaska. You may need additional permits from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • What is not considered processing?
    • Gutting, gilling, or icing the fishery resource
    • Decapitating shrimp
  • What is considered processing?
    • Cooking/Steaming
    • Canning
    • Smoking
    • Salting/Brining (wet or dry)
    • Drying
    • Freezing
    • Heading (DOR only)
    • Packaging (DOR)
    • Butchering (DOR & DEC)
    • Shucking (DOR & DEC)
    • Pickling (DOR & DEC)
    • Retort Thermal (DOR & DEC)
    • Roe Recovery (DEC only)
  • Who uses fish tickets and code plates?
    Any first purchaser, processor, or transporter of raw fishery resources. A Cather-Seller, or a Direct Marketer also must complete the fish ticket.
  • What do I need to do to become a seafood buyer, processor, or exporter?
    To become a seafood buyer, processor, or exporter, you need a Fisheries Business License from Department of Revenue and a bond if you are a buyer, an Intent to Operate from Fish and Game and depending on your operation you may also need a permit from Alaska Department of Environment Conservation (food sanitation) and/or federal fisheries permits.
  • Do I need a certified scale?
    If you sell product by the pound you need to obtain a certified scale from the Dept. of Transportation, Div. of Weights and Measures (17 AAC 90, AS 45.75.080). To have a scale certified it is recommended to contact them directly for instructions to have a scale certified.
    There are three offices throughout the state.
    • Operations in Southeast should contact the Juneau office at (907)-365-1222.
    • Operations north of Yakutat, on the Aleutian Chain and central Alaska should contact the Anchorage office at (907) 365-1222.
    • Operations occurring in the Interior, Nome, Bethel and outlying communities should contact the Fairbanks office at (907) 451-3134.
    Please note that there are also federal labeling requirements for pre-packaged products.
    Shellfish Exception: Can sell by the count. Ex: 25 jumbo shrimp or 1 Dungeness crab.
    You can share a scale with different fisherman. Requirement is that the product passes over a certified scale. It does not matter who owns the scale.

License FAQs

Fish Ticket FAQs

  • How do I fill out a fish ticket?
    Every fish ticket is required to have information as specified in 5AAC 39.130 (PDF 35 kB). Check with your local area office for other reporting requirements on fish tickets.
  • Where do I submit completed fish tickets?
    Fish tickets should be submitted to the nearest local area ADFG office. Addresses are shown on the cover of the fish ticket books. The exceptions are listed below:
    • All Southeast troll salmon tickets should be sent to Sitka.
    • All halibut and groundfish tickets for Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and North Gulf State waters should be sent to the Homer office.
    • Salmon tickets for Lower Cook Inlet go to Homer and Upper Cook Inlet go to Soldotna.
  • How do I order more fish tickets?
    Call the Seafood Industry Technician at 907-465-6131 or email
  • How do I order more code plates?
    Call the Seafood Industry Technician at 907-465-6131 or email
  • Can I use last year's fish tickets?
  • Who is responsible for filing fish tickets?
    The first purchasers of fish, a Catcher-Seller, or a Direct Marketer. Transporters will partially complete fish tickets when the fish is taken from the fisherman and then will be completed by the buyer.
  • Is an imprinting machine required?
    They are not required, but are convenient if your operation writes numerous fish tickets.
  • Where do I get an imprinting machine?
    There are 2 suppliers:
    • Secure ID LLC
      1120 Huffman Road, Suite 24-734
      Anchorage, AK 99515
      Phone: (907) 770-9160
    • Legend Data Systems
      18024 72nd Ave S
      Kent, WA 98032
      Phone: (425) 251-1670
      Fax: (425) 251-1894