Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program

The NSW Government’s Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program introduced linkages between shares and catch or effort. Fishers have the ability to invest in their businesses with more certainty than ever before. Importantly, share linkages have been tailored to each share class.

Under the Business Adjustment Program, some commercial fishers purchased more shares to secure their level of business activity, while others chose to sell their shares and exit the industry. There is a range of assistance measures available to help industry through this transition process.

Key dates

22 September 2017 Market rules amendment: Payment period extended to 22 September 2017 for payments due to RAA. Visit Market rules for more information.
30 September 2017Shareholder eligibility for new quota shares determined
31 October 2017
Management charges determined for share managed fisheries
1 December 2017
  • New share linkage arrangements commence
  • New quota shares and quota will be issued
  • Applications for fishing business buyout payments and low interest rate loans close
  • Quota reporting must be submitted via the FisherMobile app (PDF, 117.4 KB)

New quota shares to be issued

By 1 December, new quota shares will have been issued to eligible shareholders for the species that will be managed by catch quota from December 2017. The new quota shares provide an ongoing right to catch quota for the relevant species. Each year catch quota will be allocated to owners of the new quota shares.

Important dates for new quota shares

  • 31 August - You must ensure forms applying to transfer your existing shares, which make you eligible for new quota shares, are received by DPI
  • 30 September - shareholder eligibility for new quota shares determined

New quota shares (PDF, 110.52 KB)

Find out more about new quota shares.

Commercial fishing and fishing boat licenses

Commercial fishing licences - fees due by 31 July 2017

Renewal notices and reminders have been sent to all commercial fishers with fees due by 31 July 2017. The license renewal fee is $304. Please be aware that if a licence has not been renewed by 31 July 2017, the license will expire and the fisher will need to re-apply for a new license at a cost of $622.

Fishing boat licences

The requirement to hold a boat licence has been extended to July 2018, which is why renewal fees for fishing boat licences (FBL) have been waived for the period 1 July 17 to 30 June 2018.  However you must complete the FBL renewal and return to Fisheries Business Services. Providing there are no outstanding fishing boat fees a new FBL card will be issued.

Please call Fishing Business Services on 1300 720 662 if you have any questions regarding your renewal.

Management fees

Fishers should ensure DPI have received their share transfer forms by 31 October to ensure their correct shareholding is used to determine their management fees. There will be one installment of fees which will be payable early in the new year, 60 days after issue.

Fishers are encouraged to contact Fishing Business Services on 1300 720 662 if they would like to discuss this further.

NSW Small Business Commissioner

The NSW Small Business Commissioner will provide ongoing support to fishers as the industry continues to adjust in preparation for the share linkage arrangements which commence on 1 December 2017. The Business Connect program is available to help fishers that are considering exiting or adjusting their business.

Visit the Small Business website for more information.

Parliamentary inquiry

In November last year an inquiry was announced into commercial fishing in NSW. On 23 February 2017, the report from that inquiry was tabled in Parliament. The report can be accessed via the link below.

The NSW Government welcomes the Report from the General Purpose Standing Committee No.5’s (PDF, 313.13 KB) inquiry into commercial fishing in NSW. We support all recommendations in principle and are working to quickly implement them.

Response to Neil MacDonald report

The NSW Government engaged an independent consultant, Neil MacDonald, to advise of issues that should be considered regarding the implementation of the Business Adjustment Program.

After consultation with commercial fishers and industry stakeholders, including the Professional Fisherman’s Association, a range of issues were identified and additional measures developed to address key industry concerns raised, including the provision of greater certainty for those fishers undergoing the Independent Allocation Panel Process. More information can be found in the full response below.