FISHERIES - VESSEL TRANSFER 



Stephen M. Ouellette represents commercial fishing vessel owners in vessel and permit (fishing history) transfers


With the increase in fishery management regulations and limited access, your federal permit rights are crucial to profitable operation. To avoid loss of fishing rights, make sure you understand the rules on transfers of fishing history when a vessel is transferred or lost. Permits are non-transferable, but fishing history, which gives an owner (or new owner) the right to apply for a permit, is presumed to transfer with a vessel, unless excluded from the transfer in writing. If fishing history transfers to the new owner, usually all history must transfer together - so an owner may not keep one permit. Some history is not transferable, except in case of loss of use of the vessel for specified reasons.

State regulations vary significantly and greatly limit ability to transfer fishing rights. 


Understanding the rules on transfer before you enter into an agreement to buy or sell a vessel may prevent loss of a permit. 

To reach Stephen M. Ouellette in an emergency during non business hours,

call (978) 317-2542

 


MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND ALL THE RULES BEFORE YOU BUY OR SELL A  VESSEL

When in doubt about the stautus of your permit, call National Marine Fisheries Service, the United States Coast Guard, or your state enforcement agency. Keep a record of your call, along with the name of the person or persons you speak to - it might save your permit. 


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Stephen M. Ouellette
Attorney at Law & Proctor in Admiralty
A Professional Association
127 Eastern Ave., Suite 1
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
tel: (978) 281-7788
fax: (978) 281-4411

For more information, call or e-mail us at stephen.ouellette@fishlaw.com


Photographs courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Historical Collection

Copyright 2012 Stephen M. Ouellette, Esq.