Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
Join the Griffin's Guide HUNTING newsletter

Get weekly news, tips and photos from the world of hunting.
[contact-form-7 id="35884" title="GG Email"]
No Thanks!

Recreational Saltwater Fishing Permit

Brought to you by:

In November of 2009, the Massachusetts State Legislature passed and Governor Deval Patrick signed into law “An Act Instituting Saltwater Fishing Licenses” (Saltwater Act). This law enabled Marine Fisheries to build and implement a state permitting program for 2011.


To improve the quality of data used to estimate the effects of recreational fishing on ocean resources and the nation’s economy, the US Congress included a provision in the 2006 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act requiring all recreational saltwater fishermen become registered permit holders. The basic idea behind the requirement is that the improved data will aid in developing recreational fishing regulations that are fair, effective, and based on sound science.

Permit Fee

The fee for all individual fishermen, both resident and non-resident is $10.

Who Needs a Permit?

All fishermen, age 16 and older will need to get a MA permit in order to engage in the recreational activity of finfishing, or take or land finfish for recreational purposes in or from the coastal waters of Massachusetts. Those fishermen age 60 or over will not need to purchase the $10 permit, however they will need to get the permit at no cost.


The following individuals do not need a 2011 permit:

  • Fishermen under 16 year of age
  • Fishermen who regardless of their age, otherwise meet the definition of a disabled person in M.G.L. c. 19C
  • Fishermen fishing on permitted for-hire (charter/headboat) vessels


Fishermen who possess a MA permit will be able to fish in the two neighboring coastal states of New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Fishermen from those states will also be able to fish in MA waters.

How will the fee money be used?

All permit fees will be deposited in a dedicated account, managed by Marine Fisheries and a five member, non-governmental recreation developement panel will advise the Director on project developement and the administration of funding. All fees collected from the sale of a recreational saltwater fishing permit can only be used on approved marine recreational fishing programs, and 1/3 of all annual appropriations must be dedicated to recreational saltwater fishing access projects in Massachusetts.

To Obtain a Massachusetts Recreational Saltwater Permit for 2011:

Individuals may also obtain a permit by visiting one of our three offices in Boston, Gloucester, or New Bedford.

For questions please email: or call

Boston – (617) 626-1520

Gloucester – (978) 282-0308 x150

New Bedford – (508) 990-2860 x150

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: