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Nearshore Fishery Permit Transfer Provisions

Effective April 1, 2003, pursuant to Section 150(g), Title 14, of the California Code or Regulations (CCR), a Nearshore Fishery Permit (NFP) may be transferred subject to the conditions listed below.

General Provisions

  • A transferable NFP may be transferred from one person to another.
  • Nontransferable NFPs cannot be transferred to another person and become null and void upon the death of the permit holder. (Section 150(e)(5), Title 14, CCR).
  • If the number of transferable and nontransferable NFPs in a regional management area is greater than the capacity goal for that regional management area, one additional transferable NFP for the same regional management area must be surrendered to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for cancellation at the same time the transfer request is submitted.

Total number of permits allowed for each area, as of May 2016

Regional Management Area Capacity Goal Permits Issued
North Coast Region 14 15
North-Central Coast Region 9 22
South-Central Coast Region 20 45
South Coast Region 18 39

Nearshore Fishery Permit Transfer Requirements

  • The NFP must be valid at the time of application for transfer.
  • If two NFPs are required for transfer, they must be from the same regional management area.
  • The transferee must have a valid California commercial fishing license.
  • The transferee must have never been convicted of a violation of any provision of the near shore fishery regulations or of the Fish and Game Code pertaining to the commercial take of near shore fish stocks.

Required Documentation

  • A notarized written request from the current permittee(s) that includes:
    • The name of the transferee, and the proposed permittee.
    • The regional management area of the NFP.
    • A statement that the permittee is selling their permit to the transferee and that the permittee relinquishes all rights to fish for nearshore species.
    • The current permittee's signature.
  • A notarized written request from the transferee that includes:
    • The name of the current permittee(s) and transferee.
    • The regional management area of the NFP(s).
    • A statement that the transferee is retiring one of the NFPs, if two are necessary for the transfer.
    • The current permittee's original current NFP(s).
    • Copy of the transferee's valid California commercial fishing license.
    • Nonrefundable NFP transfer fee of $500.

Death of the Permittee

  • A transferable NFP may be transferred to the estate of any permittee who has died only for the purpose of transferring the NFP to another person. A request for transfer must be submitted within one year of the date of death of the permit holder as listed on the death certificate.
  • A NFP in the estate of a deceased permittee may be transferred to an immediate family member (spouse, child, grandchild, parent, or sibling) or to a partner as described in Fish and Game Code (FGC), Section 8102.

Additional Required Documentation needed upon the Death of the Permittee

  • A notarized written request that identifies the deceased permit holder, type of permit to be transferred and the proposed transferee.
  • Copy of the death certificate.
  • A court document naming the executrix of the estate.

FGC Section 8102, allows for the transfer of a limited entry commercial fishing permit, provided a working partner is a spouse, child, or sibling of the permittee. A working partner is also defined as a person who can prove an investment or equity in the vessel or gear used in the fishery who would otherwise have been eligible for a permit but did not obtain one because he or she was working with or was a partner with the permittee. The working partner shall provide substantial evidence of an actual physical working participation aboard the vessel supported by copies of trip settlement sheets and of logbooks.

Mail documents and transfer fee to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
License and Revenue Branch
1740 N. Market Blvd.
Sacramento, California 95834

Evaluation of the transfer request will take approximately 20 business days after receipt by the License and Revenue Branch provided additional documentation is not required. If approved, a letter authorizing the transfer will be sent to the transferee with instruction on the process for completing the transfer.

Appeal Provisions and Deadlines

If disapproved, CDFW will notify the permittee in writing, explaining the reason for denial. Pursuant to Section 150(m)(3), any applicant who is denied transfer of a NFP may appeal to the Fish and Game Commission within 60 days of the date of CDFW's denial.

Please contact Ms. Debbie Noriega, Commercial Fishing License Analyst, at the License and Revenue Branch, (916) 928-5817 or, if you have any further questions or require additional assistance.

License and Revenue Branch
Main Office: 1740 N. Market Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834 | Sales Offices
(916) 928-5805 |