Getting started in commercial fishing

Fisheries Queensland manages the state's commercial fisheries under specific fisheries legislation to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries resources while supporting profitable commercial fisheries.

A primary commercial fishing licence is the main fishing authority that allows the take and sale of fisheries resources in Queensland. Fisheries Queensland does not issue new primary commercial fishing licences, so you will need to lease or buy a licence from an existing owner. These licences are generally advertised in newspapers or industry magazines, or are available through a fishing broker.

Access to various commercial fisheries is permitted through fishery symbols, which are identified on your licence. Fishery symbols define the fishing rules that apply to a particular commercial fishery. Similar to licences, Fisheries Queensland does not issue new fishery symbols so you will need to lease or buy one. Fishery symbols can be moved between licences.

Some commercial fisheries also require commercial fishers to hold quota or effort units to take certain fisheries resources (e.g. coral trout quota, trawl effort units). Similar to licences, Fisheries Queensland does not issue quota or effort units, so you will need to lease or buy the number of units to land your catch.

Before leasing or buying a primary commercial fishing licence, you need to consider the following:

  • the type of fishing you want to do, and where and when you want to operate
  • boat requirements (length and tender restrictions apply)
  • commercial fisher licence requirements and qualifications
  • licensing, quota or effort unit requirements
  • vessel tracking and reporting requirements
  • current investment warnings.

View details of licences, permits and quota authorities in the fisheries register of authorities (FishNet).

There must be one person in charge of a primary commercial fishing licence and that person must also hold a commercial fisher licence.

For more information about getting started in Queensland's commercial fisheries, phone Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23.


General enquiries 13 25 23