Trawl fishery licensing and management areas

Queensland's commercial trawl fisheries operate under licensing arrangements and fishery management areas.


The following licensing arrangements apply to Queensland's commercial trawl 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 stands for that fishery).

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

Effort units are regionally specific and are allocated for use in either the northern, central, southern inshore, southern offshore (A and B) or Moreton Bay trawl regions. Effort units can only be used in the relevant management region they are allocated to.

Management areas

Queensland's east coast otter trawl fishery is divided into 6 management areas (with associated effort units for each region):

  • northern trawl region
  • central trawl region
  • southern inshore trawl region
  • southern offshore A trawl region
  • southern offshore B trawl region (ex T2 – concessional effort units)
  • Moreton Bay Trawl region.

Queensland's trawl fisheries operate in all tidal waters out to the Queensland east coast offshore constitutional settlement boundary between Cape York and the New South Wales border, with the following exceptions:

Trawling in the Gulf of Carpentaria is jointly managed by the state and federal governments.

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