ters", even advertising on eBay, though they did not come close to having the legal requirements for doing so. What is required to offer fishing Charters with your boat? Below is a list of requirements. There is some difference depending on the trip, inshore or offshore, however most
of the basic requirements are the same.
I run offshore, so here is what I have to be legal:
1)USCG Captains license
2)TWIC card (homeland security) Can't work as a Captain without it.
3)Commercially registered boat.
4)Florida registered business (ACME Ventures llc)
5)Business license for the county where you reside or office is (mine is Volusia)
6)FWC fishing boat license (mine cover the 6 guest I am allowed)
7)NOAA HMS permit (shark, tuna's and billfish)
8)NOAA Coastal Pelagic permit (Cobia, Tunny's, Kings, etc)
9)NOAA Dolphin / Wahoo permit
10)NOAA Grouper / Snapper permit (most all bottom fishing)
11)NOAA NMFS Vessel Operator Card (Dolphin / Wahoo)
12)A boat with all USCG - UPV required equipment (this is more than recreational,
an I had an inspection done on mine, and have a UPV inspection sticker good
for 2 years) Some of the requirements are to have the appropriate number of
Type 1 PFD's, with lights and whistles, and reflective tape. A 19" min white or orange
life ring. A evac and safety plan (printed). A copy of the Coast pilot and lights list for
the area you travel. A current tide chart. Nav maps, or electronic maps, as long as they
are on a dedicated battery, seperate from the motors. And, the normal safety gear such
as flares, smoke, etc. BTW, the PFD's and life ring must be marked with the boats name
or reg numbers. There are many other items, such as MARPOL cards, trash, oil, stickers, etc.
13) Red Cross approved First aid card, and Drug Testing plan.
14) My personal fishing license (the boat license does not cover Captain or crew).
15) Insurance is not required, but a real good idea.
Its not cheap to be legal, but it is a lot cheaper than being caught while illegal!
It is illegal for anyone, Captain or otherwise to offer a Fishing Charter without these items.
There are some that try to 'skirt' the law buy having the passengers buy their our license, but
when a trip like this is done, no money may be collected beyond the actiual cost of gas, oil,
bait and ice, and again, it cannot be advertised as a Charter!
Of coarse, while on a Charter, the Captain and Crew are restricted from keeping certain specis
of fish for themselves (Snapper and Grouper), but if your guest had a good day, and they want to
offer some to you as a tip, well thats OK, as long as the bag limit was within guest total only.
It is also not legal to sell catch from a Charter (for hire) trip, in most cases. The rules are constantly
changing, and the Licensed, legal operator is required to keep up with this.
Wile E. Coyote…