Beginning in 2011 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts required that all recreational anglers obtain a saltwater fishing license. Licenses are available for $10 (plus applicable processing fees) through the MarineFisheries website or at your local tackle shop .  Persons 60 years of age or over are required to hold the permit but not subject to the $10 license fee.

Exempt from having to hold a license are those persons who are disabled and reliant on another person to assist in the performance of their daily activities, persons under 16 years of age, or patrons on-board permitted for-hire vessels. Individuals with a commercial fishing permit must also hold a recreational fishing license if they keep fish under recreational fishing limits. However, they need not hold a recreational fishing permit if they keep for personal use any fish that was legally caught under the authority of their commercial permit. 

The purpose of the license is to create a registry of saltwater anglers and thereby improve recreational catch data. All fees from the recreational fishing license program are deposited in a dedicated account. The five members of the public, who constitute the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Panel, assist MarineFisheries for developing programs for the expenditure of all collected funds.  In accordance with state law, revenues can only be used to administer the licensing program; increase and improve public fishing access; and improve the management of the state’s marine recreational fisheries, particularly with regard to developing more accurate assessments of recreational catch and effort. 

For more information regarding the recreational fishing license, please visit our website or call us at 617-626-1620.