Commercial Fishing

Louisiana Commercial Fishermen

Commercial fishing is a crucial part of the heritage, culture and commerce along Louisiana’s coast.  Our state is home to the most productive seafood industry in the lower 48—about 1 billion pounds of seafood, on average, is landed in Louisiana each year for commercial sale, with an estimated dockside value of $300 million.  Louisiana seafood fuels our economy, and feeds a global population.

Commercial fishing is both a science and an art.  The ‘art’ of commercial fishing can only be learned through doing—reading the tides, locating good spots for catch, experimenting to find the gear and bait that works for you.  But this is only one part of the commercial fisherman’s business.  Our goal, through Louisiana Fisheries Forward, is to help fishermen understand the ‘science’ of fishing—the business trends, new technologies and equipment, and regulatory rules and policies that lead to financial success AND resource preservation.

The curriculum included here covers a wide variety of topics to help commercial fishermen understand licensing and permitting requirements, trip tickets and federal reporting, receiving, handling and storing catch, and responsible and safe fishing.

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; and check back often for updates to this page.

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:

shorebirds and pelican in shallow water at Grand Isle
shrimp boats at pier

Fisheries management in Louisiana is firmly rooted in science.  Biologists with LDWF, Sea Grant and NOAA monitor environmental conditions, species populations, and other biological data to determine seasons, catch limits, gear requirements, handling practices and more.  We are determined to work together with fishermen to maintain healthy fish populations and habitat for the benefit of all.

Latest Commercial Fishing News

fishing boats

LDWF Announces Commercial Fishing License Sale Locations and Dates

April 3, 2023

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will offer new or renewal commercial fishing licenses and boat registration transactions at the following locations: Lake Charles Office **NEW LOCATION** 1025 Tom Watson Rd. Lake Charles, LA” April 24 & 25 9 am – 3:30 pm Lafayette Office 200 Dulles Drive Lafayette,…

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Young man on charter boat holding bent rod with fish on line

Gulf Council Asks Fishermen for Information on Mutton Snapper

March 9, 2023

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council would like to gain a better understanding of what’s happening with mutton snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. The Council recognizes that as active fishermen, you may notice trends or interesting things happening in the Gulf that the scientists and managers may not…

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