Marine aquarium fishery

Fishery symbols

  • A1: Aquarium fish fishery
  • A2: Aquarium fish fishery


Operating area


To operate in the fishery, you need a:

Up to 3 divers can operate under a licence at any one time.

A1 and D (coral) symbols can be fished together on the same fishing trip provided that both symbols are on the same primary commercial fishing licence.

Limited entry

The fishery has limited entry:

  • 45 licences with A1 symbol
  • Four licences with A2 symbol.

In order to protect stocks in the specific areas from localised depletion, regions are defined as special management areas with limited access:

  • Cairns area (16 licences)
  • Whitsundays area (3 licences)
  • Keppel area (8 licences)
  • Sunshine Coast area (8 licences)
  • Moreton Bay area (11 licences).

Supply public aquariums

Operators who supply public aquariums must also hold a general fisheries permit to:

  • use certain equipment
  • outside prescribed size limits or species restrictions.

Reporting and monitoring

Commercial fishers must:


  • Five-day closures apply around the new moon periods in October and November of each year.


  • One primary boat.
  • One tender boat only.

Target species

  • Damselfish (family Pomacentridae)
  • Butterflyfish and bannerfish (family Chaetodontidae)
  • Angelfish (family Pomacanthidae)
  • Wrasses (family Labridae)
  • Surgeonfish (family Acanthuridae)
  • Gobies (family Gobiidae)

Size and take limits

  • Size limits exist for certain species.
  • Fish can only be sold for use as aquarium fish or broodstock.
  • Fish must not be taken for human consumption.