Legal Requirements and Regulations

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    • Federal and some state fisheries regulations require that you report all catch.  Your CSF’s catch is not exempt from this law.  So don’t forget about state and federal reporting.  Your CSF can apply for a dealer license or, to make it easier, some CSFs work out of wharfs with licensed dealers who are already reporting landings.
    • Permits, licenses and reporting: Regulations governing seafood sales vary widely from state to state and even from species to species.  Consult with both your local department of agriculture and the agency that issues your fishing or harvesting permit to ensure that you are following the law.
    • Sanitation and inspecting: To distribute seafood directly to the public you’ll need to meet food safety guidelines.  Cleanliness and temperature will be closely monitored and some local health departments require oversight by someone who has been HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) certified.  Often you must have seafood shares individually packaged to distribute.  In some cases, a mobile vendors license is sufficient for whole shellfish but not for filleted fish.  Any alteration of the natural appearance of the seafood leads to additional sanitation inspections and licensing.  For this reason you might consider distributing only whole fish in your first season.
    • For more information, contact your local Department of Public Health or other safe food handling and seafood sales licensing agencies.
    • For state by state specifics, click on this link.