Rules and regulations to follow when selling fish in Massachusetts

Hampshire County

According to the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, you need a seafood dealer permit to sell raw fish, shellfish, lobsters or bait. 

And to get that permit, you may need to get an inspection from the Department of Public Health if selling commercially. If you catch a trout locally, you and your family can enjoy it for dinner. However, to sell fish commercially, you need to apply for a commercial fishing permit. 

These rules and regulations are especially important now that the weather is warming up and more people are fishing.

22News received reports of locals selling their own trout catches on Facebook Marketplace in Belchertown, which is not allowed according to Massachusetts law. 

“As far as around here, in freshwater, I’ve never seen or heard anybody doing that. And I’ve been around a long time, you know? So to me it’s kind of–it’s, it’s weird,” Al Gag, a long-time local fisherman, told 22News. 

The type of permit you need depends on what exactly you’re selling, and how. An individual permit allows you, and only you, to sell fish, but the sale must be with a licensed dealer, not local residents. So think twice before you advertise your catch on a public forum. 

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