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Federal Permits

A few Key West fishing charter operations have the ability to go out fishing in the Federal waters of the National Marine Sanctuary and beyond in the Gulf of Mexico. This is only possible for charter fishing companies that possess Federal Waters Charter Fishing Permits. These permits allow captains who have them to enter protected waters in the Gulf, areas that contain many of the best wrecks and huge populations of fish that are under much less fishing pressure than those closer inshore. Operations without Federal permits must avoid the many areas that are no-enter and no-take zones, and are forced to stay in State waters closer to shore, where there are far more guides and locals alike fishing.

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