Primary commercial fishing licence

About the primary commercial fishing licence

A Queensland primary commercial fishing licence allows you to operate a nominated primary boat and its associated tender boats for commercial fishing, in accordance with the fishery symbols appearing on that licence.

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

Move fishery symbols

You can permanently move fishery symbols between primary commercial fishing licences. However, you cannot temporarily move symbols. The only exception is a licence with an eel (E) fishery symbol, which is not transferable.

Primary and tender boats

Each primary commercial fishing licence is assigned a boat mark (e.g. FABC) by Fisheries Queensland. Each boat in your operation must display this mark in several places at an appropriate size in relation to the boat's length – for more information, refer to the Fisheries (Commercial Fisheries) Regulation 2019.

Tender boats, which are used with a primary boat in certain fisheries, cannot be longer than 10m. 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.

Transfer a primary commercial fishing licence

Permanent transfer

Temporary transfer

Third-party interests

If there is a third-party interest recorded against a licence, quota units or fishery symbol, their permission to transfer the licence or units or move the symbol is required before the application can be progressed.

Transfer duty

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

Amend a primary commercial fishing licence

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

If there are other details about your licence that you want to change, you must submit an 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.