Buyers/Exporters/ Processors Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General FAQs

  • What is not considered processing?
    Gutting, gilling, or icing the fishery resource. Decapitating shrimp.
  • What is considered processing?
    • Cooking/Steaming
    • Canning
    • Smoking
    • Salting/Brining (wet or dry)
    • Drying
    • Freezing
    • Heading (DOR only)
    • Packaging (DOR)
    • Butchering (DOR & DEC)
    • Shucking (DOR & DEC)
    • Pickling (DOR & DEC)
    • Retort Thermal (DOR & DEC)
    • Roe Recovery (DEC only)
  • Who uses fish tickets and code plates?
    Any first purchaser, processor, or transporter of raw fishery resources.
    A Cather/Seller, or a Direct Marketer also must complete the fish ticket.
  • What do I need to do to become a seafood buyer, processor, or exporter?
    To become a seafood buyer, processor, or exporter, you need a Fisheries Business License from Department of Revenue and a bond if you are a buyer, an Intent to Operate from Fish and Game and depending on your operation you may also need a permit from Alaska Department of Environment Conservation (food sanitation) and/or federal fisheries permits.
  • Do I need a certified scale?
    If you sell product by the pound you need to obtain a certified scale from the Dept. of Transportation, Div. of Weights and Measures. To have a scale certified it is recommended to contact them directly for instructions to have a scale certified.
    There are three offices throughout the state.
    • Operations in Southeast should contact the Juneau office at (907)-789-9763.
    • Operations north of Yakutat, on the Aleutian C hain and central Alaska should contact the Anchorage office at (907) 365-1222.
    • Operations occurring in the Interior, Nome, Bethel and outlying communities should contact the Fairbanks office at (907) 451-3134.
    Please note that there are also federal labeling requirements for pre-packaged products.
    Shellfish Exception: Can sell by the count. Ex: 25 jumbo shrimp or 1 Dungeness crab.
    You can share a scale with different fisherman. The requirement is that the product passes over a certified scale. It does not matter who owns the scale.

License FAQs

  • When I receive my code plate and fish tickets from Fish and Game am I legal to operate?
    No. You must register your operation at the nearest local ADF&G office and obtain instructions on reporting requirements in your area. Also there may be other agencies that require information or licenses/permits such as DEC or NOAA.
  • How do I find my license number?
    There are several ways to find out that information.
  • How do I find out if someone has a license?
    There are several ways to find out that information.

Fish Ticket FAQs

  • Where do I submit completed fish tickets?
    Fish tickets should be submitted to the nearest local area ADFG office. Addresses are shown on the cover of the fish ticket books. The exceptions are listed below:
    • All Southeast troll salmon tickets should be sent to Sitka.
    • All halibut and groundfish tickets for Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet and North Gulf State waters should be sent to the Homer office.
    • Salmon tickets for Lower Cook Inlet go to Homer and Upper Cook Inlet go to Soldotna.
  • How do I order more fish tickets?
    Call the Seafood Industry Technician at 907-465-6131 or email
  • How do I order more code plates?
    Call the Seafood Industry Technician at 907-465-6131 or email
  • Can I use last year's fish tickets?
  • Who is responsible for filing fish tickets?
    The first purchasers of fish, a Catcher-Seller, or a Direct Marketer. Transporters will partially complete fish tickets when the fish is taken from the fisherman and then will be completed by the buyer.
  • Is an imprinting machine required?
    They are not required, but are convenient if your operation writes numerous fish tickets.
  • Where do I get an imprinting machine?
    There are 2 suppliers:
    • Secure ID LLC
      2000 E Dowling Rd #9
      Anchorage, AK 99507
      Phone: (907) 770-9160
      Fax: (907) 770-91621
    • Legend Data Systems
      18024 72nd Ave S
      Kent, WA 98032
      Phone (425) 251-1670
      Fax (425) 251-1894