Commercial fishing licences and symbols

Licences and particular types of permits allow fishers to catch certain marine species for trade or commerce, as long as they abide by conditions such as area restrictions, catch limits, catch reporting and gear used.

To operate in a commercial fishery:

  • the fisher (either yourself or another person you engage) must have a commercial fisher licence
  • the fisher must be operating under a Queensland commercial fishing boat licence or commercial harvest fishery licence
  • the relevant fishery symbols must be recorded against each commercial fishing boat licence or harvest fishery licence in the register of fishing authorities.

Commercial fishery licences

Commercial fisher licence

You will need a commercial fisher licence to use authorised equipment for catching species identified under the fishery symbols recorded against your commercial fishing boat licence. The commercial fisher licence will also allow you to supervise crew members assisting in the fishing activities.

Commercial fishing boat licence

You will need a commercial fishing boat licence to use a nominated primary boat and tender boats to commercially take species allowed under fishery symbols recorded against the licence. No new (additional) commercial fishing boat licences are issued, but you can lease or buy one from an existing licence holder.

Commercial harvest fishery licence

A commercial harvest fishery licence is required to take species that are primarily collected by hand or by using handheld implements. No new licences are issued for existing fisheries, but you can lease or buy a licence from an existing operator.

Carrier boat licence

You must have a carrier boat licence to use a nominated boat to transport catches taken by another commercial fishing boat. Some fish carriers are exempt and some restrictions apply to specific fisheries.

Commercial fishery symbols

Specific fisheries are represented by a system of fishery symbols, which are recorded against the boat and harvest licences in the register of fishing authorities. These symbols indicate the fisheries the commercial fisher is authorised to fish. Each symbol denotes the species of fish targeted, the fishing method used and a particular geographical area.

To view fishery symbol descriptions and details refer to the Fisheries Regulation 2008.

Commercially printed copies of this legislation can be purchased from LITSupport.

For more information about commercial fisheries licences and permits, phone Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23.


General enquiries 13 25 23