This Permit Guide was created as a guide to the complex permitting process for an Aquaculture project. This process involves multiple state, federal, and local agencies. Organized in roughly chronological order, this Guide lays out the different agencies in charge of permits, registrations, and consultations your project will need in order to be compliant with State, Federal, local, and Tribal authorities.
The first step is to contact the State Aquaculture Coordinator, who will be your guide through the process. Please come to the discussion with as much detail about your project as possible, including possible location, operation scale, and species to be cultured. Each project is unique and will require different considerations but the lists below capture much of the regulatory process. All facilities used for the controlled growing and harvesting of aquatic plants and animals in the State, whether on public or private lands, must be registered annually. All forms of aquatic plants, fish, and shellfish are subject to approval by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and/or the Fish and Game Commission. More detail about different regulations, species, and locations can be found on the CDFW Aquaculture page.