Aquaculture is the business of farming aquatic plants and animals. In North Carolina, farmers grow trout, catfish, hybrid striped bass, prawn, crawfish, ornamental fish, baitfish, clams and oysters. North Carolina is one of the most aquaculture-friendly states in the US.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services issues the aquaculture license. The license is for any person who owns or operates an aquaculture facility for the purpose of possession, production, transportation, sale or commercial catch-out. The license is free and can usually be obtained within two weeks.
For species NOT listed on the 'Explanation of the Aquaculture License' above, such as Tilapia, Prawn, Yellow Perch west of I-77 and Hybrid Bass in the Neuse, Tar-Pamlico, Roanoke River Basins, etc, an Authorization Letter from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission is required:
* Information on Non-Approved Species: In accordance with the Aquaculture Development Act of 1997 the culture of any aquatic species not approved in the statute (or not listed as one of the 22 species in the NCDA License Application) is “prohibited from propagation and production unless the applicant for the permit first obtains written permission from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.” The link below will provide information for you to apply for authorization to culture aquatic species not approved in the legislation; NCWRC Authorization to Culture Non-Approved Fish Species Application.