Fishing related economic activities

Historically, Aboriginal people bartered and exchanged fisheries resources within and between communities. This practice continues today in a contemporary cultural context, but is subject to legislation associated with commercial fishing and aquaculture ventures.

Charter fishing is another economic opportunity for Aboriginal people that is associated with the fisheries resource and regulated by fisheries legislation.

Commercial fishing

Commercial fishing provides a valued source of employment and economic opportunity for Aboriginal communities. The sustainability of existing fishing businesses operated by Aboriginal people, and the exploration and promotion of opportunities related to the fisheries resource that may benefit Aboriginal communities are both important objectives.

The department works in consultation with the Aboriginal Fishing Advisory Council (AFAC). AFAC assists in identifying viable economic opportunities for Aboriginal communities related to the fisheries resources, and also reviews how cultural aspects of community and family sit with existing commercial fishing arrangements.

The department may also provide support and assistance to community projects that seek to maintain or build on the active engagement of Aboriginal people in the NSW commercial fishing sector.

Information about each of the NSW commercial fisheries can be obtained on the Commercial Fishing page.


Aquaculture is a business opportunity for communities or individuals and may also be undertaken successfully at a small, less intensive scale to enhance access to quality seafood.

The department can provide assistance to individuals, communities, Local Aboriginal Land Councils and other Aboriginal organisations by case management of aquaculture development proposals.

The department has developed sustainable aquaculture strategies for both oyster and land based aquaculture activities.

Further information can be found on the Aquaculture page.

Charter fishing operations

Charter fishing businesses give recreational fishers the chance to engage in fishing experiences that they may not normally be able to experience by providing the fishing opportunity (e.g. an offshore boat trip), equipment and expertise to go out and enjoy fishing and get a feed of fish. Charter boat operators need a licence to operate their businesses in NSW.

Further information can be found on the Charter fishing in NSW page .