Business Management

Seafood Business Management

There are approximately 13,000 active commercial fishing licenses granted in the state every year.  These Louisiana fishermen land 66% of the seafood in the Gulf of Mexico in our state.  These are big numbers, but they don’t even address the hundreds of docks, dealers and processors that bring our seafood to the world. There are great opportunities in the seafood economy, but to enter—or expand—into new markets, you must first understand the basics of business.

The world of business principles has a language all its own . . . depreciation and amortization, cash or accrual accounting, SWOT analysis.  Understanding such business principles can help you manage your money and your time better, so you can concentrate on increasing profits from the harvest or sale of seafood.

The curriculum included here, put together by Louisiana Fisheries Forward, explains fundamental topics to help fishermen, dock owners and dealers understand budgeting and finance, business organizational structures, taxes, financing opportunities/loans, business plans and marketing, and insurance.

Be sure to check out the video, download our Fast Facts, and visit the resource links below for the full picture of how to be a successful commercial fisherman.

This video is for educational purposes only.  Watching this video does not fulfill the basic requirements for the LDWF Commercial Crab Gear Requirement; for more information visit:

fisheries business

There are certain tax rules that apply just to fishermen, so the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has set up a Fishing Tax Center on their website.  This section has great information for you and your CPA on fishing income, depreciation, cash sales, estimated taxes, and a record-keeping guideline to help you keep all the right documents.

Fast Facts

Download pdf versions of Louisiana Fisheries Forward fact sheets below.  This is a work in progress, so check back often!

GET INVOLVED!  Your input is needed to successfully manage each of our fisheries. Join a species task force, or attend their open meetings; sign up for alerts from Wildlife and FisheriesSea Grant and other agencies; and attend LFF workshops and dock days for the best information on quality handling, safety, new equipment, and more.

Resource Links