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Getting started in commercial fishing

If you want to become a commercial fisher, you must first obtain a commercial fishing boat licence.

Fisheries Queensland does not issue new commercial fishing boat 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.

Your licence will let you operate in one or more fisheries. The fisheries in which you are authorised to operate are identified by fishery symbols recorded against your licence in the fisheries register of authorities. Fishery symbols can be moved between licences.

Before you become a commercial fisher, you need to consider the following:

  • what type of fishing you intend doing, in which location and when
  • what licensing, quota or effort units are required for your intended fishing operation
  • if there are any investment warnings for the fishery you are interested in
  • whether your boat meets the fishery requirements (length and tender restrictions apply)
  • the fees for holding licences, quota or effort units and any transfer fees
  • whether you require and qualify for a commercial fisher licence.

Details of licences, permits and quota authorities for commercial fishing are held in the fisheries register of authorities.

You will also need to consider the reporting requirements for your intended fishing operation.

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


General enquiries 13 25 23