Why permits are issued
Permits allow fishing activities that would otherwise contravene the
Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 (the Act).
The Act sets out the purposes for which permits can be issued. These are:
- scientific research;
- the promotion of fishing or fish products;
- the development of fisheries;
- the development of fishing technology;
- educational and community awareness programs;
- fish stock depletion or enhancement;
- the collection, keeping, breeding, hatching or cultivating of rare or endangered fish;
- sport or recreation purposes by a person who, in the opinion of the Minister, would otherwise be unable by reason of that person's disability to engage in fishing by methods permitted under this Act;
- Aboriginal cultural and ceremonial activities;
- the development of marine farming;
- law enforcement;
- environmental monitoring; and
Legislative requirements, resource sustainability, environmental interactions, and the costs and benefits to all extractive and non-extractive users are all factors considered when assessing permits.
Access given under a permit is not guaranteed, and applicants should be cautious about investing in an operation based on access provided under a permit.
Applying for a permit
Any person can apply for a permit. Typically, they are issued to commercial fishers, scientific researchers, community and educational groups, fish processors and marine farmers.
Applications must be on the approved form which can be found below and supporting information can be attached. We encourage you to contact Wild Fisheries to discuss your proposal prior to applying.
Please allow 21 days for assessment and processing. Under the Act, the Minister may consult with relevant bodies including peak fishing bodies, government agencies, community groups and scientific advisers. Additional time may be needed to complete consultation.
You will be advised in writing about the outcome of your application.
Conditions and reporting
Permits authorise a specific activity which will be subject to a range of conditions. These may relate to species, quantities, fishing area, allowable gear or fishing methods, and persons authorised to act as agents.
Permit holders may need to report activities or provide data to inform fisheries management decisions and assist the Department to meet its responsibilities under the Act.
Under the Act, permits can be issued for a period of up to 12 months.
Fees apply for the issue of some permits.
Application for a Permit (PDF 1Mb)
Advice for Permit Applicants (PDF 189Kb)
Developmental Fisheries Management
The Developmental Fisheries Management Policy encourages the progression of developmental fisheries to increase options for commercial fishers, improve fishing techniques, and value add to low-value species.
You are encouraged to contact Wild Fisheries to discuss your proposal before applying. Applications should be well researched and demonstrate commitment to delivering environmentally sustainable, commercially viable, and socially acceptable fishing activities.
Please read the Policy and the Advice for Applicants below prior to submitting your application.
Developmental Fisheries Management Policy (PDF 238Kb)
Advice for Developmental Fisheries Applicants (PDF 109Kb)
Permits for bioprospecting may require an agreement for access and benefit sharing to be reached between the applicant and the Minister. You are encouraged to contact Wild Fisheries prior to applying for advice with this matter.
You do not need a permit to collect marine species to stock a home aquarium, provided that your fishing complies with any licence requirements, size limits, area restrictions, closed seasons, protected species or prohibited gears. The normal bag and possession limits also apply.
Commercial or educational organisations keeping aquariums, including schools and businesses, may need to apply for a permit.
For freshwater aquariums and pet fish - contact
Inland Fisheries. For information on importing fish - contact