East coast inshore fishery

Structural adjustment payments: Stage 1 extended

Eligible commercial licence holders affected by the phase-out of gillnets on the Great Barrier Reef or the Great Sandy Marine Park rezoning can now apply for structural adjustment payments.

Closing dates have been extended so commercial licence holders have more time to get independent advice and submit their applications.

Cancelled symbols

N1, N2, N4 and S symbols are no longer valid from 1 January 2024.

Fishery symbols

Net fisheries:

  • N10: Tunnel netting
  • N11: Small mesh netting
  • N15: Net fishery (management region 5)
  • NX: Net fishery (limited life—management region 2 to 4)

Ocean beach net fisheries:

  • K1: Net fishery (ocean beach—area 1)
  • K2: Net fishery (ocean beach—area 2)
  • K3: Net fishery (ocean beach—area 3)
  • K4: Net fishery (ocean beach—area 4)
  • K5: Net fishery (ocean beach—area 5)
  • K6: Net fishery (ocean beach—area 6)
  • K7: Net fishery (ocean beach—area 7)
  • K8: Net fishery (ocean beach—area 8)

Line fisheries:

  • L1: Line fishery (other than in Great Barrier Reef)
  • L2: Line fishery (reef)
  • L3: Line fishery (reef)


Operating areas

Operating areas depend on the fishery and symbol:

Management regions

The east coast fishery is split into 5 management regions, across the east coast of Queensland.

Region 1:

  • from latitude 10°30’ south, north of Cape York
  • to 15º13.56' south, Cape Bedford.

Region 2:

  • from latitude 15º13.56' south, Cape Bedford
  • to 19°00’ south, near Balgal Beach.

Region 3:

  • from latitude 19°00’ south, near Balgal Beach
  • to 22°00’ south, between Carmilla and Clairview.

Region 4:

  • from latitude 22°00’ south, between Carmilla and Clairview
  • to 24°30’ south, Baffle Creek.

Region 5:

  • from latitude 24°30’ south, Baffle Creek
  • to the Queensland–New South Wales border.


The quota management depends on whether fish are:

  • tier 1: key species that drive fishing behaviour in the east coast inshore fishery
  • tier 2: other species of high commercial and recreational importance
  • tier 3: all other species monitored for changes in fishing pressure.

Once the total allowable commercial catch (TACC) is reached in a management region, it becomes a no-take species in that region for the remainder of the quota season.

Tier 1 species

Tier 1 species are managed regionally through:

  • individual transferable quota (ITQs)
  • TACC.

All management regions:

Region 5 only:

Tier 2 species

Tier 2 species are managed regionally through prescribed commercial catch (competitive TACCs).

All management regions:

Regions 1 to 4:

Region 5 only:

Tier 3 species

Tier 3 species are all other fin fish species. These are monitored for changes in fishing pressure.


To operate in the fishery, you need a:

Reporting and monitoring

Commercial fishers must:


  • Barramundi is a no-take species between 1 November and 31 January each year.


  • Permitted fishing equipment varies across fishing symbols and fishing areas.
  • Restrictions apply for taking certain species using fishing lines.

Target species

Size and take limits

Size limits apply to individual fish species.

Form requirements for species in the inshore fishery include:

  • no inshore finfish can be landed in fillet form
  • some can be gilled and gutted and trunked
  • otherwise all finfish must be landed whole.

Refer to the Fisheries Declaration 2019 for details.