Coral fishery

From 1 September 2021, there are new rules and reporting requirements for Queensland commercial fisheries.

Find fact sheets on the new rules and reporting requirements.

Fishery area

The fishery area consists of all tidal waters and foreshores south of latitude 10°41'S and east of longitude 142°31'49"E.

From 1 July 2006, commercial coral harvesters have been allowed to harvest from all tidal waters (under Queensland jurisdiction) extending from the tip of Cape York to the southern extent of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) at a latitude of 24°30'S (as long as they are open to coral harvesting under GBRMP zoning). This is referred to as roving harvest.

Two small areas south of the GBRMP are open to harvesting under specific licences.

The fishery is designated by the fishery symbol D.


Commercial fishers operating in Queensland's state-managed fisheries are required to complete daily catch and effort logbooks. These logbooks detail where, when and how fishing took place, and what was caught.

The following logbook page is available to view for this fishery:

Target species

The commercial coral fishery targets a broad range of species from the classes Anthozoa and Hydrozoa. The key components of the fishery are:

  • live corals, such as Euphyllidae, Zoanthida, Corallimorpharia and Fungiidae families
  • sea anemones
  • ornamental (non-living) corals, such as Acroporidae and Pocilloporidae families
  • live rock (dead coral skeletons with algae and other organisms living on them)
  • coral rubble (coarsely broken up coral fragments)
  • coral sand (finely ground-up particles of coral skeleton, which fishers can only take as incidental catch and must not target in marine park waters).

Fishing gear

Coral may only be taken by hand or by using handheld non-mechanical implements, such as a hammer and chisel. Licence-holders may also use scuba or hookah when taking coral.

Other management arrangements

The commercial coral fishery operates under the Queensland fisheries policy for the management of the coral fishery (PDF, 348KB).

The following management measures are still in place for the commercial fishery under legislation and policy:

  • Compulsory catch reporting arrangements are in place for the coral fishery.
  • A total allowable commercial catch (TACC) of 200t exists for the fishery.
  • Individual quotas exist for each licence.
  • The fishery has limited entry, with 59 licences currently endorsed.
  • Limits exist on the number of boats and collectors operating under a licence at any one time
    • up to 3 people may collect under the licence at the same time
    • only 1 boat may be used under the licence at a time.

Also consider...


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