Commercial fishing boat licence

About the commercial fishing boat licence

A Queensland commercial fishing boat licence allows you to operate a nominated primary boat and tender boats for commercial fishing (in accordance with the fishery symbols appearing on your boat licence).

Fisheries Queensland does not issue new (additional) commercial fishing boat licences; however, you can lease or buy one from an existing licence holder.

Move fishery symbols

You can permanently move fishery symbols between commercial fishing boat licences. However, you cannot temporarily move symbols.

Primary and tender boats

Each commercial fishing boat licence is assigned a boat mark (e.g. FABC) by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). Each boat in your operation must display this mark in several places at an appropriate size in relation to the boat's length.

Read more about the requirements for placing a boat mark on an authorised boat in the Fisheries Regulation 2008 (PDF, 3.2MB).

The name and description of your primary boat is recorded on the licence card. Tender boats, which are used with a primary boat in certain fisheries, cannot be longer than 7 metres. You must also give each tender boat in your operation a unique identifier by adding a dash and a number after the boat mark (e.g. FABC-1, FABC-2).

Certain fisheries limit the number of tender boats operating with the primary boat by placing a number in brackets after the fishery symbol on the licence.

Permanent transfer of a commercial fishing boat licence

To permanently transfer a commercial fishing boat licence, both the former owner (transferor) and proposed new owner (transferee) of the licence must register the transfer with Fisheries Queensland.

If the transferee wants to use a different boat to that currently recorded on the licence, tick the box beside the text 'transfer of licence only (without boat)' on the register transfer of a commercial fishing boat licence application.

To record the new boat to be used on the licence, submit a commercial fishing boat licence amendment request application to Fisheries Queensland.

Permanent transfer of quota units

To permanently transfer any quota units between the same two parties, submit a register transfer of quota application. Please tick the box on this form beside the text 'quota also being transferred'.

Temporary transfer of a commercial fishing boat licence

To arrange the temporary transfer of a commercial fishing boat licence, you can submit a register temporary transfer of commercial fishing boat licence application.

If the temporary transferee wants to use a different boat to that currently recorded on the licence, the owner of the licence (temporary transferor) must submit a separate commercial fishing boat licence amendment request application.

Temporary transfer of quota units

If quota is being temporarily transferred between the same two parties, submit an appropriate register temporary transfer of quota application and tick the box beside the text 'quota also being transferred'.

Third-party interests

If there is a third-party interest recorded against a boat licence, quota units, or fishery symbol, their permission to transfer the licence or units or move the symbol is also needed.

Transfer duty

You may have to pay Queensland transfer duty. Contact the Office of State Revenue for more information.

Amend a commercial fishing boat licence

If you are replacing the primary boat of your operation, you will need to submit a commercial fishing boat licence amendment request application to have your licence amended. You must wait for Fisheries Queensland to process the application before you can use the new boat.

If there are other details on your licence that you want to change, you must submit a generic authority amendment request application. Examples of changes include:

  • renaming a boat already recorded on your licence
  • trading tenders (by decreasing the number of tenders on one licence and increasing, by the same quantity, the tenders on another licence with the relevant fishery symbol)
  • adding a fishery symbol to your licence.

Changes made to a commercial fishing boat licence issued under both Queensland and Torres Strait jurisdictions must be amended in both jurisdictions by completing both Queensland and Torres Strait application forms. Queensland symbols cannot be written on a Torres Strait fishing boat licence and vice versa. A separate licence will be issued for each jurisdiction with the boat mark as the unifying factor.