Limited Entry Permits

NOAA Fisheries implemented conservation and management measures for the Pacific Coast commercial groundfish fishery on January 1, 1993. The agency instituted a license limitation program for the commercial groundfish fishery based on the issuance of federal fishing permits. This limited entry program was designed to control the capacity of the groundfish fishing fleet by limiting the number of fishing vessels, limiting the number of vessels using each of the three specified gear types (trawl, trap/pot, longline), and limiting increases in harvest capacity by limiting vessel length. The Pacific Coast Groundfish Limited Entry Permit (LEP) authorizes the holder to participate in the federal limited entry groundfish fishery in waters off of Washington, Oregon, and California. NOAA Fisheries no longer issues new LEPs. To enter the groundfish LEP fishery, you must either purchase or lease an existing LEP. If you have questions about LEPs, please contact the Fisheries Permit Office at 206.526.4353.

Below are the current forms applicable to LEPs. Any change to permit ownership, vessel registration or vessel ownership must be requested using the first form given below. The forms must be submitted to the following address (we do not accept forms by email):

U.S. Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Marine Fisheries Service
West Coast Region, Fisheries Permits Office
7600 Sand Point Way NE, Bldg. 1
Seattle, WA 98115-0070

Forms and Links

Change in Permit Ownership & Vessel Registration Fillable Form PDF Formatted Document 484kb

Sablefish Ownership Interest Fillable Form PDF Formatted Document 139kb

Sablefish Permit Stacking Program

Lists of current and historical groundfish permits, licenses and vessel accounts