This is essential reading for anyone wishing to enter the aquaculture industry or as an established aquaculture industry member as it provides background information and outlines your responsibilities as an aquaculture permit holder.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) manages the aquaculture industry in NSW to ensure the industry develops in a sustainable manner. We've set in place a number of policies and guidelines to ensure all farming practices are environmentally sustainable, and the industry has a healthy future.
In NSW the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and its associated Regulations such as the Fisheries Management (Aquaculture) Regulation 2017 are the primary pieces of legislation that govern how NSW DPI manages the industry.
As an entrant or as an established aquaculture industry member it is your responsibility to be aware and to keep up to date with your obligations under the various legislative requirements, as well as the conditions applied to your aquaculture permit. NSW DPI will endeavour to keep permit holders informed of changes through newsletters or articles on our aquaculture webpage.
If you are cultivating fish or marine vegetation as outlined in the definition of aquaculture under Section 142 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 you are required to obtain an aquaculture permit. The definition states:-
Aquaculture means :
The following is a summary of the permit classes:
In some cases your aquaculture activity may require authorisation under more than one aquaculture permit class.
If you are still uncertain what class of aquaculture permit you would require please contact the Aquaculture Management Unit on (02) 4982 1232.
Yes, for the majority of new aquaculture developments you will be required to obtain Development Application (DA) consent through your local council or in some cases through the NSW Department of Planning & Environment. DA consents will contain a number of conditions which you are required to abide by otherwise the consent may become invalid.
It is also advisable that you consult the NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy, NSW Land Based Aquaculture Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy and/or Marine Waters Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy to ascertain if your proposed development is permissible before preparing your DA. The strategies also contain some valuable information which will assist in preparing your DA.
It should also be noted that aquaculture permit holders are often required to obtain and/or maintain various approvals, permits, licences and other authorities from other State and local government agencies such as water extraction licences, discharge licences, Shellfish Licence, etc. The government agencies you may need to consult include:
As an aquaculture permit holder it is your responsibility to be aware of your obligations under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and its associated Regulations such as the Fisheries Management (Aquaculture) Regulation 2017 and the Fisheries Management (General) Regulation 2010.
If you are unsure about the legality of any actions you wish to undertake please contact the Aquaculture Management Unit on (02) 4982 1232.
Aquaculture permit conditions are placed on your permit in accordance with the Fisheries Management Act 1994 to ensure the ongoing sustainability of both your farm and the industry as a whole.
Failure to comply with any condition of an aquaculture permit, constitutes an offence under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 and may result in the issuance of a penalty notice or prosecution and/or suspension and/or cancellation of the aquaculture permit.
Aquaculture permit application costs vary depending on the type of permit you are applying for. In addition there are annual fees which apply to aquaculture permits.
Aquaculture businesses are required to pay an annual permit administration fee and an annual research contribution. Aquaculture businesses operating on public waters such as oyster farming are required to pay the annual permit administration, research contribution, lease rental and elect a lease security arrangement. A Schedule of Aquaculture Fees and Charges is available on the NSW DPI website . More information can be obtained by speaking to staff from the Aquaculture unit on (02) 4982 1232.
No. Aquaculture permits are issued to a particular person, partnership or company.
If the ownership of an aquaculture farm changes hands then the new person or partnership will need to apply for a new aquaculture permit.
However, if an aquaculture permit is issued to a company and the company is purchased by new directors, then, a new permit is not required. The new directors must provide NSW DPI with copies of company extracts (obtained from Australian Securities & Investments Commission) showing the new directors of the company.
It is your responsibility to notify NSW DPI in writing within 28 days of any changes in your permit particulars (i.e. business address, trading name or change of directors).
No. The species listed on an aquaculture permit are those that NSW DPI has assessed as part of your aquaculture permit application. These are the only species you are permitted to hold on the area(s) to which the permit relates.
If you wish to amend the species on your aquaculture permit you will be required to complete and submit to NSW DPI a Permit Variation Application form. This form can be downloaded from the permit holder information page on the website.
Yes. Estuarine and marine based aquaculture is predominantly undertaken on Public Water land (submerged Crown Land) under the authority of an aquaculture lease issued by NSW DPI.
Land based aquaculture can also occur on land not owned by the permit holder provided:-
If you are looking to purchase a current land based aquaculture farm, there are a number of key issues you need to consider and/or copies of documents you need to obtain to accompany your aquaculture permit application.
It should also be noted that any extension of operations or expansion of facilities requires written approval from NSW DPI.
NSW DPI can assist you and the potential new owner in streamlining the approval of an aquaculture permit.
If you are unsure about any actions you wish to undertake please contact the Aquaculture Management Unit on (02) 4982 1232.