More about:

Seafood dealer permits

You must have a dealer permit to sell raw fish, shellfish, lobsters, or bait. You may also be subject to inspection from the Department of Public Health.

Dealer permit descriptions and additional requirements

Bait Dealer Permit:

  • Allows you to take (if you have a commercial fishing permit) and sell marine bait.
  • No inspection is required.
  • Consult local regulations (i.e. on worms, eels, etc.).

Retail Boat Seafood Dealer Permit

  • Allows you to sell “whole” fish, lobsters and crabs lawfully harvested under the authority of your commercial fishing permit from your boat. This permit does not include shellfish.
  • Allows you to transport live lobsters or live crabs if you have a commercial lobster permit, that are caught aboard your permitted vessel, for sale to the public including to persons and businesses that are not retail or wholesale dealers of raw or processed fish or shellfish.
  • A commercial fishing permit is required in addition to this permit.
  • You must file a boat waiver (see application page 2) instead of a health inspection.

Retail Seafood Dealer Permit

  • Allows you to sell raw fish, whether frozen or unfrozen, shellfish and lobsters at one retail location.
  • You must purchase shellfish only from someone with a wholesale dealer or wholesale truck permit, or from a certified out-of state wholesale dealer. Shellfish cannot be purchased directly from a harvester.
  • Does not allow you to shuck, re-label or repack shellfish.
  • You need an approved inspection from the Massachusetts Food Protection Program for this permit.
  • You must submit a copy of the inspection report with the application to the Division of Marine Fisheries.
  • The name and address must be the same on the inspection report and permit.
  • This permit may be endorsed for bait (excluding shellfish). The inspection must specifically state “Approved for retail and bait permit”.

Retail Seafood Truck Dealer Permit

  • Allows you to sell fish or lobsters at retail from a mobile unit (does not include shellfish).
  • Does not allow the holder to process, fillet, shuck, cook, etc.
  • You need an inspection from a town or county Board of Health.
  • You must submit a copy of the inspection with the application.
  • The name and address must be the same on the inspection report and permit.
  • You may also need a Hawkers and Peddlers permit. Contact the Division of Standards at (617) 727-3480 for further information.

Wholesale Seafood Broker Permit

  • Allows you to act as an agent who negotiates contracts of purchase and sale of seafood.
  • The brokerage activities will not involve the actual handling, processing or reshipping of finfish, shellfish or other marine resources.
  • You must file a “broker only” waiver (see application page 2) instead of a health inspection.

Wholesale Seafood Dealer Permit

  • Allows you to acquire, handle, store, distribute, process, fillet, ship or sell raw fish and/or shellfish.
  • Also allows retail sales from the same single, fixed location.
  • You need an approved inspection from the Massachusetts Food Protection Program for this permit.
  • You must submit a copy of the inspection report with the application to the Division of Marine Fisheries.
  • The name and address must be the same on the inspection report and permit.
  • This permit may be endorsed for bait (excluding shellfish), the inspection must specifically state, “Approved for retail and bait permit”. 
  • This permit requires a HACCP plan.

Wholesale Seafood Truck Dealer Permit

  • Allows you to acquire, handle, distribute, ship or sell raw fish from a truck only.
  • Does not allow you to process, re-label, repack, or store seafood, whether frozen or unfrozen.
  • Does not allow you to purchase shellfish directly from harvesters or shuck, re-label or repack shellfish.
  • You need an approved inspection from the Massachusetts Food Protection Program for this permit.
  • You must submit a copy of the inspection report with the application to the Division of Marine Fisheries.

Additional Resources

Feedback

Tell us what you think