Australian fishing licences and permits

Licence names

  • Statutory fishing rights
  • Fishing permits
  • Fish receiver permits
  • Scientific permits

Overview of Australian fisheries rights and permits

Statutory fishing rights and permits are granted where statutory management plans exist for an Australian Government-managed fishery.

The fisheries for which statutory fishing rights and permits are granted are:

  • Antarctic
  • Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop
  • Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Coral Sea
  • Eastern Tuna and Billfish
  • High Seas Permits
  • Norfolk Island
  • North West Slope Trawl
  • Northern Prawn
  • Skipjack Tuna
  • Small Pelagic
  • Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark
  • Southern Bluefin Tuna
  • Southern Squid Jig
  • South Tasman Rise
  • Torres Strait
  • Western Deepwater Trawl
  • Western Tuna and Billfish.

Fishing permits allow commercial fishing for Australian Government-managed species and high seas if applicable.

Fish receiver permits are required where the management arrangements for a specified fishery require receivers of fish to hold a receiver permit.

Scientific permits are granted for scientific research in a specified area of the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) or in a specified fishery.

All licences are granted under the Fisheries Management Act 1991.

Information about levy arrangements for the various fisheries can be found on the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) website.

Apply for an Australian fisheries licence or permit

Application forms for all Australian Government fisheries licences - AFMA website


Fisheries application fees can be found on the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) website.


  • Statutory fishing rights - ongoing and can be permanently transferred
  • Fishing permits - up to five years, but usually annually
  • Fish receiver permits - 12 months
  • Scientific permits - maximum of six months

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Page last updated 23 February 2023

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