Groundfish Limited Entry Change of Ownership/Vessel Registration
A valid Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery limited entry permit (LEP) is required to participate in the federal limited entry fishery in waters off of Washington, Oregon, and California, excepting participation in the Open Access Fishery.
NOAA Fisheries implemented conservation and management measures for the Pacific Coast commercial groundfish fishery on January 1, 1993. The agency instituted a license limitation program for the commercial groundfish fishery based on the issuance of federal fishing permits. This limited entry program is designed to control the capacity of the groundfish fishing fleet by limiting the number of fishing vessels, limiting the number of vessels using each of the three specified gear types (trawl, trap/pot, longline), and limiting increases in harvest capacity by limiting vessel length. NOAA Fisheries no longer issues new LEPs. To enter the groundfish LEP fishery, you must either purchase or lease an existing LEP.
A Change of Vessel Registration and/or Permit Owner Application form must be filled out and submitted to NOAA Fisheries at the given address for any of the following actions:
Change in vessel registered to permit (Fill out Sections B, C, E & F).
Request to stack a sablefish-endorsed permit.
Request to remove a sablefish-endorsed permit from an existing stack arrangement.
Change in permit owner (Fill out Sections B, D & F).
Change in vessel owner (Fill out Sections B, E & F).
Fishery Type: Limited Access
Harvest Type: Commercial
Species Covered: Groundfish
Online Renewal: No – NOAA Fisheries will mail LEP renewal packets to permit owners prior to September 15 of each year. The renewal period is October 1 through November 30.
Logbook Requirement: Yes
Expiration Date: Annual, Expires December 31st. Permits must be renewed each year by November 30.
Fishing Area: EEZ off of Washington, Oregon, and California coasts
Change of Vessel Registration and/or Permit Owner Application (PDF, 5 pages). Expires December 31, 2025.
The West Coast Regional Office renews and transfers permits. Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Limited Entry permits were originally issued to vessel owners based upon their qualifying groundfish landings history. Because it is a limited entry fishery, no new permits can be issued. Regulations governing this fishery can be found at Code of Federal Regulations, Title 50, Part 660, Subparts D and E.
Carry endorsements pursuant to their target species and method. These include gear endorsements, size endorsements, sablefish endorsements, and Mothership/Catcher Vessel (MS/CV) Endorsements.
Carry a NOAA Fisheries Observer.
Maintain and submit a fish ticket within 24 hours of returning to port.
Carry an operational vessel monitoring system unit supplied and installed by the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement.
West Coast Groundfish Fishing Permits
West Coast Regional Office
7600 Sand Point Way NE, Bldg. 1
Seattle, WA 98115-0070