Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat Permit (Open Access)
This permit authorizes charter and headboat vessels to take for-hire passengers to recreationally fish for and retain Atlantic highly migratory species using specific gears. This permit must be renewed annually.
The permit also authorizes some commercial sale of tunas, swordfish, and sharks with a commercial sale endorsement and the additional possession of a limited access permit appropriate for the species being sold. There may be size or retention limit restrictions depending on the for-hire status of the vessel.
Species Covered by this Permit with Rod and Reel
Species Covered by this Permit with Handline
*Recreational fishing for sharks with this permit requires a shark endorsement. You’ll be prompted to view a video and take a quiz during the application process for an HMS Charter/Headboat or HMS Angling permit.
Species Covered by this Permit with Green-Stick and Bandit Gear
Species Covered by this Permit with Speargun
- Free-swimming albacore tuna
- Free-swimming bigeye tuna
- Free-swimming skipjack tuna
- Free-swimming yellowfin tuna
What You Will Need
To obtain this permit, you must complete an application, submit supporting documentation, and pay the application fee. If you want to include a shark endorsement on your permit, you will also have to watch a short video and answer several shark identification questions. To complete the application, you will need the following personal and vessel information.
- First name
- Last name
- Home (billing) address and zip code
- Day time telephone number
- Mobile phone number
- U.S. Coast Guard documentation number and/or state registration number for the vessel
- Vessel name
- Home port city and state
- Principal port city and state
- Length (in feet)
- Year built
- Crew size
- Construction (e.g., wood)
- Gross tonnage
- Propulsion (e.g., gasoline)
- Main engine horsepower
- Hold capacity in pounds (if applicable)
How to Apply
In most cases, you can apply or renew this permit in one of several ways. If the vessel you wish to permit has been permitted before by a different owner, your application must be processed by phone by a customer service representative. Call 888-872-8862, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern. This is extremely important in order to maintain the permit history for the vessel.
This is the best option for applying for or renewing this permit. Visit the pages below to start the application process.
Permits purchased or renewed online can be paid online with a major credit card. A fee is added to cover the costs of managing the permitting system.
PDF application packages are available to download on our permit site. Complete the application by hand and mail it to NOAA Fisheries at the address provided in the application. You can pay by money order or with a major credit card.
You may request an initial or renewal application package be mailed to you by calling the NOAA Fisheries Customer Service Center at 888-872-8862. Once you've completed the application, mail it to NOAA Fisheries at the address provided. You can pay by money order or with a major credit card.
This option is only available for those renewing a permit. Call 888-872-8862. Customer service representatives are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern. You can pay by money order or with a major credit card.
What Happens After You Submit
If you purchase or renew your permit online, you’ll have the opportunity to print your permit at the end of the application or renewal process. You can choose to have the permit sent to you via mail, email, or fax.
For all other application methods, you should receive your permit by mail in 1–2 weeks.
Regardless of how you apply, you can check the status of your application from the HMS Permit Shop using the permit number or order confirmation number.
Once Your Permit is Issued
The hardcopy of this permit must be onboard the vessel in order to fish for, take, retain, or possess the species identified above. The vessel operator must make the permit available for inspection if requested by any NOAA Fisheries or NOAA Fisheries-authorized personnel.