All Texas commercial fisheries are under license management programs. This means that no new licenses are being issued by the State of Texas for the shrimp (bay, bait & Gulf), finfish, crabs, and oyster fisheries. As was previously mentioned, you can still purchase a license but you must find a willing seller and transfer documents must be completed with TPWD. Prices will vary depending on the fishery you're interested in but range from about $2,000 (oyster) up to $8-10,000 (shrimp & crab). This price is negotiated with the seller and is above and beyond the annual fee required by TPWD. Commercial license fees can be found in the Commercial Fishing Guide (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/commercial/
TPWD is also buying back licenses in the shrimp, crab and finfish fisheries in order to reduce fishing effort. Funding for these buybacks comes from fees associated with the commercial and recreational licenses, federal grants and through donations from organizations and private individuals. Once purchased, these licenses will not be reissued unless it is determined that the fishery can support additional fishing pressure at some point in the future.
Contact Bobby Miller (281-534-0110) at the Dickinson Marine Lab for more information. Bobby also keeps a list of fishermen looking to sell their licenses.
TPWD - Coastal Fisheries
Dickinson Marine Laboratory