Alaska Commercial Fishing Licenses & Gear Needs
Get your Alaska Commercial fishing license. Anyone working aboard a fishing vessel must have a license issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
These commercial fishing licenses cost $60 for Alaska residents and $200 for non-Alaskans, and are valid for one year. Visit the Fish and Game website for more pricing information. A portion of the license cost goes to the Alaska Fishermen’s Fund, which pays for health insurance for licence-holders who become injured while fishing.
This is only for medical care, not for lost wages, pain and suffering, and so forth, and has a rather low limit: $2,500 or one year of treatment, whichever comes first. Licenses may be purchased in Alaska from a sporting goods store or directly from the department, or in Seattle at Seattle Marine and Fishing Supply, (206) 285-5010. Often your captain will purchase a license for you, so don’t buy one until you have a job.
- Work boots. Make sure they are waterproof, durable, and have non-slip soles.
- Oil skins. Again, it’s worthwhile to go with Helly Hansen or some other reliable brand. Some companies may provide these for you; make sure you check with your employer before purchasing this costly outfit yourself.
- Sweatpants and hooded sweatshirts. These can be worn under your fishing gear to keep you warm and comfortable.
- Wool sweaters. Wear one under your gear to keep warm.
- Rubber gloves. Be sure to get the heavy-duty, reinforced kind, not the dishwashing kind. Again, some boats will supply these for you.