So you want to fish commercially ?

There are a number of factors you need to consider before purchasing/leasing a licence. The Department of Fisheries are able to assist in this regard.

Before you become a commercial fisher, you need to consider the following:
. what type of fishing you intend doing, in which location and when
. any recent changes, known as investment warnings, for the fishery you are interested in
. whether your boat meets the size and power limits
. the fees involved in permanently or temporarily transferring licences and amending them for your intended fishing operations
. the ongoing annual fees for holding authorities
. whether you qualify for a commercial fishing boat licence. (if you intend to operate your own boat). If you do not qualify, you will need to employ a licence holder to operate your boat until you qualify for a licence.

Please note that if you are intending to be in charge of a boat you will also need an appropriate competency certificate to satisfy the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994. The Commercial Fisher Licence does not cover this aspect of your operations. You should contact Queensland Transport for full details on this matter

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). Licences and permits allow commercial fishers to catch certain marine species as long as they abide by conditions such as area restrictions, catch limits, catch reporting and gear used. Authorities can be bought, sold or transferred, depending on the fishery, and this process is managed by Fisheries Queensland.

You will need a Queensland commercial fisher licence to be in charge of commercial fishing activities aboard either your own commercial fishing boat or another person’s commercial fishing boat. You will also need a minimum of Coxswain licence.

The commercial fisher licence allows you to:

use authorised equipment to commercially take fish species under fishery symbols appearing on a commercial fishing boat licence
supervise crew members assisting you in those fishing activities.

Fisheries Queensland does not issue new (additional) commercial fishing boat licences; however, you can lease or buy one from an existing licence holder. Bay and Ocean Brokerage has a wide range of Licences, Symbols and Quota available for Sale and Lease.

Certain fisheries have controls on total allowable catch and effort units. These are collectively referred to as ‘quotas’. Some quota fisheries in Queensland have a total allowable catch limit, which is set annually. Examples include the Spanish mackerel, Coral Reef and spanner crab fisheries.Quota are transferable between the holders of licences with the appropriate fishery symbols.

If you are a commercial fisher working in catch-based quota fisheries listed below, you must report your catch via Fisheries Queensland’s AIVR system.

. coral reef fin fish fishery (RQ) and Spanish mackerel fishery (SM)
. spanner crab fishery (C2)
. tropical rock lobster fishery (R)
. coral fishery (D)
. beche-de-mer fishery (B1)
. trochus fishery

Food Handling
Certain food handling and storage requirements apply to commercial fishing operations in Queensland. These requirements are administered by Safe Food Queensland. It is suggested that persons new to the commercial fishing industry should contact Safe Food Queensland to be sure they are aware of the food handling and storage requirements that apply to their business. More information on these requirements can be found at Safe Food Queensland or by contacting Safe Food Queensland on: 1800 300 815.