How to Get a Commercial Shrimping License in Louisiana

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Shrimping can be a very lucrative business.
Shrimping can be a very lucrative business. (Image: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

Louisiana controls some of the richest domestic shrimping waters in the U.S., and sells its warm-water shrimp harvests to local, domestic and international buyers. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries protects and monitors the fishing methods of the shrimping industry through a licensing program for commercial fisherman. The department manages commercial shrimping by zones, seasons, size and methods of taking including trawling and freshwater nets.

Read and understand all fishing regulations for commercial shrimping. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries provides regulatory information on its website. Fishing commercially for shrimp will require you to know what you can and cannot do according to Louisiana regulations.

Request a commercial fishing license application from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Applications are available by calling or visiting the department offices in Baton Rouge. The online application process is for recreational fishing license only and does not apply to commercial fishermen.

Complete the application and pay the fees for commercial fishing license. A commercial fishing license plus separate licenses for shrimp trawling, a shrimp gear fee and a freshwater shrimp net license are required according to the fisherman's take methods. A driver's license number, passport or Social Security number will be required to complete the application. Applications can be mailed to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries or returned in person.

Commercial fishing licenses are $55 for residents and $460 for nonresidents. A trawler license is $25 per trawl for residents and $100 per trawl for nonresidents. The shrimp gear fee is required of all commercial fishing licenses conducting shrimping activity and is $10 for residents and $40 for nonresidents. The freshwater shrimp net license is is $25 for residents and is not available for nonresidents.

Obtain a wholesale/retail seafood dealer's license. Commercial fisherman who send their catch for sale out-of-state or who sell in-state to anyone other than a licensed seafood dealer must have a dealer's license in addition to the commercial fishing license. Dealer licenses start at $250 and can be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Obtain a fresh products license. This license is only necessary when selling to in-state consumers other than licensed dealers. It must be purchased in addition to the commercial fishing license. A Fresh Products license is $20.

Tips & Warnings

  • Anyone operating a commercial fishing vessel while the vessel is engaged in fishing activities will need to have a commercial fishing license.
  • Wholesale/retail seafood dealer licenses and the fresh products license require a monthly reporting process. The state trains each license holder in the proper reporting process.

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