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Safety Regulations

U.S. Coast Guard and other regulatory agencies.

Safety Regulations

United States Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard enforces safety regulations at sea. Recreational boaters can find a wealth of information at the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division website,, including links to state boating laws, navigation rules, float planning, and boating safety courses.

Commercial fishermen will find online resources at the Coast Guard's commercial fishing safety website, Fishing Vessel Safety Division (CG-CVC-3). Among the resources, you'll find links to contact info for local Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety offices and CFVS Examiners and a Publications and References page, including the Federal Requirements for Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels.


A particularly helpful tool is the Check List Generator. Fill in the information about your commercial fishing boat and the Check List Generator will create a list of required safety equipment based on your information.

The Coast Guard's website is an additional resource for commercial fishermen. In addition to hosting the Check List Generator, the website provides a variety of safety information and guidance documents, useful to commercial fishermen.

Coast Guard Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examiners can schedule required vessel exams and answer your questions on Coast Guard regulations for commercial fishing vessels, including questions on vessel inspection, manning, required equipment, operating a motor vessel while intoxicated, sexual abuse reporting, marine pollution, zero tolerance, marine sanitation devices, drug testing, personnel licensing and misconduct, reporting accidents and deaths, and written agreements with crewmembers that detail the crew share and deducted expenses.

Federal Communications Communication
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Coast Guard require you to have an FCC radio operator’s license if you operate a commercial vessel and you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  1. Do you have a single sideband radio on board?

  2. Do you talk to foreign coast stations such as Canada?

  3. Are you required by regulation to carry radio equipment?


If you need a license, contact the FCC at or call toll free 1-888-225-5322.

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