Businesses in the fisheries industry

Gain an understanding of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the fisheries industry.

The fisheries industry includes:

  • fishing businesses
  • hunting businesses
  • trapping businesses
  • aquaculture businesses

Further advice and assistance

You should check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business. For further advice and assistance, contact your accountant, solicitor or business adviser. You may also wish to consult with an industry association or group for more information and advice on your industry.

Licences and permits

State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the fisheries industry.

The licences and permits you may need include:

  • approval to conduct fishing activities
  • approval to use certain fishing equipment
  • chemical use in aquaculture
  • protecting marine parks
  • protecting marine life
  • disposal of waste
  • managing fish population
  • aquaculture

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

Find the licences and permits you need for your business.


The fisheries have specific Goods and Services Tax (GST) measures. Know your GST obligations and register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Levies and charges

Levies and charges in the fisheries industry are used to:

  • collect data
  • conduct scientific research
  • manage fish resources
  • ensure sustainability

The main levies and charges that apply to the fisheries industry include:

  • levies for farmed prawns
  • levies as part of fishing permits and licences
  • quota management charges

Additional levies and charges that apply if you export fish or fish products.

Employ people

If you employ staff , you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the fisheries industry.

Workplace health and safety (WHS)

All business must comply with general occupational health and safety regulations. The fisheries industry also has state specific WHS requirements. These include:

  • protective clothing such as life jackets
  • vessel safety equipment requirements
  • manual handling safety standards
  • preventing accidents and diseases
  • workplace noise management


Businesses in the fisheries industry often rely heavily on the environment and stand to have the biggest benefits and impacts. The main environmental issues that businesses in the fisheries industry should understand include:

  • fish quotas
  • sustainability
  • reporting
  • waste management and reduction

Government organisations

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