Line fishery licensing and management areas

If you participate in commercial line fishing, it's important that you are aware of licensing arrangements and management areas.


The following licensing arrangements apply to Queensland's commercial line fisheries:

  • the person in charge of a commercial fishing operation must hold a commercial fisher licence
  • to operate in the fishery, a fisher must have a primary commercial fishing licence
  • the primary commercial fishing licence must be officially endorsed for the particular fishery (i.e. marked with the symbol that identifies the fishery).

No new licences, symbols or quota are issued for existing fisheries. To enter a line fishery, you must first obtain the correct licence and fishery symbols from an existing licence holder. Licences and quota can be transferred from person to person, and fishery symbols can be transferred from licence to licence.

Some species (coral reef fin fish and Spanish mackerel) operate under a quota management system, so a quota allocation is also required to take those species.

Management areas

Line fisheries operate in specified tidal waters out to the Queensland offshore constitutional settlement boundary, extending east from the Queensland-Northern Territory border to include a large part of the Gulf of Carpentaria, north around the tip of Cape York Peninsula, and then south along the east coast of Queensland to the Queensland–New South Wales border.

The reef line, rocky reef, east coast Spanish mackerel, east coast multiple-hook and Gulf of Carpentaria line fisheries operate in 4 main areas:

  • the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • in waters deeper than 200m outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • south of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to the New South Wales border
  • the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Of these areas, the Great Barrier Reef, with its many reefs and vast areas of shallow water, is by far the most heavily fished by commercial line fishers.

The east coast inshore line fishery is split into 5 management regions.

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