With the passage of HB208 during the 2017 Legislative Session, Coastal Resources Division of the GA DNR is reminding commercial fishermen of several changes and additions that were made to Georgia’s commercial fishing licenses. Changes affecting commercial fishermen harvesting saltwater species and dealers purchasing those species include the creation of two new licenses and 12 species endorsements.
A new seafood dealer license was created to allow the Department to better track Georgia’s seafood harvest. This license is required by any person or entity, other than the end-consumer, who purchases seafood products from a harvester unless the harvester is a licensed seafood dealer. This license is distinct and separate from seafood dealer’s licenses issued by other state and federal agencies.
The optional trawler crew license allows a vessel owner to purchase one license to cover all crew members aboard the licensed vessel. Trawler owners requested this license as a convenience since additional crew is oftentimes needed on weekends and after hours when the license sales offices are closed. The trawler crew license is only valid for the vessel for which it is purchased and is not transferable.
Species endorsements replace Letters of Authorization (LOA) and are required to harvest the following 12 species: bait minnows, catfish in saltwater, crab, eels, finfish (excluding shad, bait minnows, and catfish in saltwater), food shrimp, horseshoe crab, shad, shellfish, and whelk.