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[C] Marine | Recreational Licenses And Permits

SALTWATER

RECREATIONAL
LICENSES & PERMITS

NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program (NJSRRP)

All for-hire vessels and recreational saltwater anglers 16 and older must register annually with the NJSRRP. Please visit the NJSRRP page for more information and to register.

All those who are harvesting shellfish, using crab or lobster pots, or using a crab dredge are required to have a license.

See the list below to find more information on required licenses, and whether they can be bought online or in person.

LICENSES

Licenses are valid from date of purchase to December 31 of each year.

A shellfish license is required for harvesting of all species of benthic mollusks (with the exception of conchs, addressed in the commercial marine fisheries regulations), including, but not limited to, hard and soft clams, surf clams, oysters, bay scallops and mussels. Click BUY NOW to purchase, or complete the paper Recreational Shellfish, Crab Pot, Crab Dredge, and Lobster Application.

A shellfish license is required for harvesting of all species of benthic mollusks (with the exception of conchs, addressed in the commercial marine fisheries regulations), including, but not limited to, hard and soft clams, surf clams, oysters, bay scallops and mussels. Click BUY NOW to purchase, or complete the paper Recreational Shellfish, Crab Pot, Crab Dredge, and Lobster Application.

A shellfish license is required for harvesting of all species of benthic mollusks (with the exception of conchs, addressed in the commercial marine fisheries regulations), including, but not limited to, hard and soft clams, surf clams, oysters, bay scallops and mussels. Click BUY NOW to purchase, or complete the paper Recreational Shellfish, Crab Pot, Crab Dredge, and Lobster Application.

A shellfish license is required for harvesting of all species of benthic mollusks (with the exception of conchs, addressed in the commercial marine fisheries regulations), including, but not limited to, hard and soft clams, surf clams, oysters, bay scallops and mussels. Click BUY NOW to purchase, or complete the paper Recreational Shellfish, Crab Pot, Crab Dredge, and Lobster Application.

A non-commercial crab pot license is required for the use of not more than two non-collapsible Chesapeake-style crab pots or two trot lines to harvest crabs. Click BUY NOW to purchase, or complete the paper Recreational Shellfish, Crab Pot, Crab Dredge, and Lobster Application.

A non-commercial crab dredge license is required for the use of a crab dredge as pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.5. Click BUY NOW to purchase, or complete the paper Recreational Shellfish, Crab Pot, Crab Dredge, and Lobster Application.

A recreational lobster pot license is required for the use of pots or traps to capture American lobsters. Call 609-748-2020 for more information, or to obtain the paper Recreational Shellfish, Crab Pot, Crab Dredge, and Lobster Application.

A recreational lobster pot license is required for the use of pots or traps to capture American lobsters. Call 609-748-2020 for more information, or to obtain the paper Recreational Shellfish, Crab Pot, Crab Dredge, and Lobster Application.

NJ Fish & Wildlife-certified disabled veterans are eligible to obtain certain hunting and fishing licenses, permits, and stamps for free. To become certified, call 609-292-2965 or go to Disabled Veteran License Information.

PERMITS

Party boats may fillet fish at sea if they obtain a special Fillet Permit available from the Bureau of Marine Fisheries. Filet Permit Application for Party Boats
The Striped Bass Bonus Program allows anglers possessing a Bonus Permit to keep one striper at 24 inches to less than 28 inches. The open season for this program is May 15 through December 31. Visit the Striped Bass Bonus Program for more information.
The National Marine Fisheries Service issues permits for tuna, billfish, swordfish, and sharks. Visit the National Marine Fisheries Service website for more information.
All for-hire vessels fishing for federally managed species 3 to 200 nautical miles offshore must obtain required permits prior to fishing. Visit the Vessel and Dealer Permitting in the Greater Atlantic Region page on the NOAA Fisheries website for more information.
If you are a for-hire captain fishing in federal waters (3-200 miles offshore) for one of the species listed below, you must have a valid Greater Atlantic Region Vessel Charter/Party Permit. Vessel operators are also required to have a Federal Vessel Operator Permit. NOAA Fisheries: For-Hire Vessel Permitting and Reporting

COMMERCIAL FISHING

Fishing commercially? Here’s everything you need to know to stay legal.

frequently asked questions

The license is needed for the use of not more than two non-collapsible Chesapeake-style crab pots or not more than two trot lines.
Not all agents sell all license types, so it is recommended to call a particular agent for confirmation. Agents can be looked up on the License Agents page.
A license is required to use not more than two non-collapsible Chesapeake-style crab pots or not more than two trot lines.

Crabs may be taken recreationally with hand lines, manually operated collapsible traps, or scoop nets without a license.

Additionally, all license holders must be present. For example, if a family buys four crab pot licenses, one person cannot tend all eight pots alone.
No, but you have to be registered with NJ’s Saltwater Recreational Registry Program which can be done only online. Visit the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program page for more information.
Saltwater Registrations are only available online. Visit the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program page to register.
Saltwater Registrations are free.
Yes, everyone age 16 and above must register. 
Personal information can be changed when needed on your Customer Profile within the licensing website found at Internet License Sales.

A paper application can also be submitted to the Nacote Creek Research Station Office or the Delaware Bay Office. Change of Address Application.

Please note that changing your information online does not automatically notify or sync with the licensing offices’ records and a paper copy will need to be submitted to notify office staff.

PURCHASE A RECREATIONAL SHELLFISH, CRAB POT, OR CRAB DREDGE LICENSE ONLINE

SPEED UP YOUR TRANSACTION BY HAVING YOUR CUSTOMER PROFILE UP TO DATE

NOTE: Anyone needing assistance with the License Web Site should e-mail NJDFWLicenses@dep.nj.gov or call 908-637-4125 ext 0. Detailed information on the Integrated Electronic Licensing System (IELS) is available on the main License Information page.

Fishing licenses must be worn in a conspicuous place on the outer clothing while engaged in fishing and must be exhibited to law enforcement personnel on request.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-777-3373
Last Update: August 25th, 2022