Fishing permits

Fisheries Queensland issues permits that generally authorise activities that are otherwise unlawful. Permits are not renewable or transferable and require detailed assessment of each application.

General fisheries permit

You will need to submit a general fisheries permit application if you want to engage in activities that are not normally allowed under another type of authority. To be eligible, you will need to provide a good, evidence-based reason why this permit should be issued for the requested activity.

Examples of reasons for which a permit may be approved include:

  • education
  • research
  • environmental protection
  • public health or safety
  • Indigenous fishing (e.g. Indigenous netting activities for a cultural event)
  • fish salvage
  • fish stocking
  • broodstock or culture stock collection
  • trialling alternative commercial apparatus or fishing activities.

Every application for a general fisheries permit received by Fisheries Queensland will be considered on its own merits. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how their application relates to fisheries legislation, and how their proposed activity is consistent with its objectives.

You will need to submit a written proposal with your application describing your intended activities, including:

  • the activity being proposed
  • why it is being undertaken
  • where it will be undertaken
  • what equipment will be used
  • objectives and outcomes
  • how current fisheries legislation prevents the activity
  • implications for other stakeholders, including commercial and recreational fishers, conservation interests and the broader community.

If your application affects an area subject to a native title claim, the relevant Indigenous organisation will be notified of your proposed action.

Broodstock or culture stock collection permit

In most cases, you will need to submit a broodstock permit form to collect broodstock or culture stock from the wild to use in Queensland aquaculture facilities. A permit is required if you are collecting a regulated species (under minimum or above maximum size limits, or in excess of possession limits), collecting during closed seasons or in closed waters, or using fishing gear not permitted for recreational fishing.

Other approvals (e.g. permission to take protected species from within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park) and Native Title notifications may also be required.

In most cases, a permit to collect broodstock or culture stock will only be issued if you have an aquaculture approval.

Stocking permit

You will need to submit a general fisheries permit (stocking Queensland waters) application if you represent a registered stocking group that wants to introduce fingerlings to Queensland waters, including a dam, stream or other waterway that is publicly owned.

Developmental fishing permit

You will need to submit a developmental fishing permit application if you want to participate in a developmental fishery.

You will also need to provide the following information with your application:

  • ecologically sustainability
    • details of the proposed developmental fishing activity and harvest method
    • information demonstrating that fisheries resources can sustain the impacts associated with the proposed activity
  • economic viability
    • statement of skills and previous experience in the relevant field
    • product and market analysis (your chosen market and your position in the market)
    • marketing plan (your strategies to attract and keep clients)
    • operating plan (how the business works)
    • financial plan (your investment expected turnover, estimated profit and cash flow projections)
    • risk management plan
  • social acceptability
    • details of how the proposed fishing activity will minimise conflict with other fisheries resources stakeholders
    • details and outcomes of industry/community consultation
    • details and outcomes of any consultation with Indigenous groups
  • any letters of support from industry/community groups.

Fisheries Queensland collects data from your participation under this permit to investigate the viability of the proposed new fishery. A developmental fishery does not always become formalised as a new fishery.

Indigenous fishing permit

An Indigenous fishing permit allows an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or community to trial a commercial fishing activity.

You will need to read the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander commercial fishing development policy and submit an Indigenous fishing permit application form with the required supporting information, including:

  • a business plan – minimum information requirements for a business plan include
    • where you want to fish
    • which species you want to fish for – if a species has an Indigenous commercial allocation, how much are you requesting (e.g. 1 tonne red throat emperor and 1 tonne of ‘other species’ in the coral reef fishery)
    • the size of your boat
    • how you will obtain the necessary finance, equipment and training
    • how you will comply with other legislative requirements for a commercial operation (e.g. food handling requirements and Australian Maritime Safety Authority commercial fishing boat requirements)
    • how your proposed commercial fishing activity could turn into more permanent arrangements following the trial period
  • proof that you are an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander (see section 8.2 of the policy for details)
  • a sustainability statement – outline how the proposed commercial fishing activity will be environmentally sustainable (see section 8.3 of the policy for details)
  • economic benefits – outline what the economic benefits will be for yourself or your community (see section 8.4 of the policy for details)
  • a statement of support from the Traditional Owners or native title holders in the area where you want to fish – if a statement of support is not provided, please include a reason why (see section 8.5 of the policy for details).

Before submitting your application, contact Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23 or email to discuss your proposed fishing activity and find out which species you can fish for under this permit.

Application timelines

We aim to assess the majority of permit applications within acceptable timelines. Sometimes this process takes longer because the application is complex, or not all the information is provided at the time of application.

The table below shows our target timelines for making a decision on permit applications

Application typeTarget time frame for decision
Research permit Within 30 business days
General fisheries permit (other) Within 30 business days
Stocking permit Within 60 business days
Indigenous fishery permit Within 90 calendar days
Developmental fishery permit Within 90 calendar days


General enquiries 13 25 23