Class E Aquaculture Permit Information

What is a Class E Aquaculture Permit?

To undertake commercial aquaculture in NSW you require a permit from NSW DPI.

The Class E aquaculture permit allows you to start aquaculture production even though you may not own land or have your own water storages on an existing property.

The permit allows extensive freshwater aquaculture (no feeding) at a number of different sites. Fish and yabbies are stocked into man-made farm dams and water storages at numbers that are supported by the food available in the water body. Feeding with pellets or grains is not approved at this time.

To get approval for the permit you will be required to show that you have an agreement in place specifying terms and conditions with local land holders whose storages you intend to use. Once the permit is approved you can stock the water storages on western drainage properties with yabbies or native fish (Murray cod, yellowbelly, eel-tailed catfish, although not silver perch).

As the business develops, the permit holder can add new properties without requiring additional permits. One Class E permit allows for extensive aquaculture of yabbies or fish in up to 1000 water storages.

How do I apply for a Class E permit?

Contact Aquaculture Administration on (02) 4982 1232 and ask for an application form.

What are the advantages of a Class E permit?

One person can hold a Class E permit and extensively farm yabbies or native fish (except silver perch) in up to 1000 farm dams on different properties. The advantages of Class E permits include:

  • One set of NSW Fisheries' fees
  • Allows fish farmer to negotiate with landholder for second use of water in farm dams
  • Does not require financial commitment from landholder
  • Does not require effort of landholder
  • Unlikely to require council approval
  • Allows those who are not land holders to enter the aquaculture industry

Where can Class E aquaculture be conducted?

In existing water storages not inundated by 1/100 year floods.

Where can't Class E aquaculture be conducted?

  • In natural waterways (eg billabongs, ephemeral lakes, creeks or rivers)
  • In farm dams and water storages susceptable to inundation from 1/100 year floods


For more information contact Aquaculture Administration on (02) 4982 1232.