Your licence fees at work

​​​Revenue from the sale of sea fishing licences supports the Fishwise fund which supports the following recreational fisheries programs:
  • ​Recreational Fisheries Management includes staffing and operating the Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee which advises the Minister.​

  • Licensing and Administration  funds the recreational fisheries licensing system, sale and distribution of licences.
  • Communications – fisheries communication and products including website, fisheries displays, fishing guides and phone app, fishing measuring rulers and brochures.
  • Community Partnerships – includes Fishcare which promotes sustainable recreational fishing practices.
  • Resource Management – contributes to research including IMAS recreational fishery researchers, the general recreational fishing survey and the annual survey of rock lobster and abalone licence holders.

Recreational Fishing Licence Trends 2019-20

  • Recreational sea fishing licence holders decreased by ~600 from the previous year to 19,370.  Licence numbers still remain relatively low - around 10% less than the average of the previous ten years.  
  • Rock lobster fishing is the main incentive for taking out a licence.  There were just under 17,700 fishers who held at least one rock lobster licence.  This is almost 20% lower than in 2007/8 - the peak year for licence numbers.
  • There were no biotoxin closures although Covid-19 travel restrictions affected licence sales leading into the Easter fishing period.
Licence Type
​Recreational Abalone
​Recreational Beach Seine Net
​Recreational Graball Net
​Recreational Mullet Net
​Recreational Rock Lobster Dive
​Recreational Rock Lobster Pot
Recreational Rock Lobster Ring
​Recreational Scallop
​Recreational Set Line

Recreational licence numbers over time since 1995 - click for larger image

Fishwise Fund Status

  • A total of $1.247 million was collected from the sale of recreational sea fishing licences in the year – a decrease of ~$20,000 from the previous year.
  • All licence fees except the agreed consolidated revenue contribution of $255,000 was made available to the Fishwise fund.  This totalled $942,000.  If CPI is considered, Fishwise revenue is around 20% less in real terms compared to 5 years ago.   
  • Expenditure exceeded revenue in 2019/20 primarily due to the initiation of the Tasmanian Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy.  A total of approximately $300,000 is required for the Strategy project between 2019 to 2021.
  • The Fishwise Community Grant fund contains $167,052.  This, along with the Fishwise Fisheries adjustment fund is flagged for potential implementation of individual season limits/rock lobster monitoring systems or translocation of lobsters to assist the recreational rock lobster fishery on the East Coast.
  • Fishery adjustment fund remains with $122,000 in funds.


Recreational Fishing Enquiries
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 3233, 1300 720 647