Apply for Section 37 Permits

What is a Section 37 Permit?

A Section 37 permit is required for any activity that involves taking or possessing fish or marine vegetation that would otherwise be unlawful under the Fisheries Management Act 1994. This includes activities such as:

  • Science or Research Collection
  • Aquarium Collection
  • Possessing Pacific Oysters
  • Collecting Marine Vegetation for Commercial Purposes
  • Any other collecting activities that are unlawful under the Fisheries Management Act 1994

Note: This section does not cover permits for Aquaculture or Commercial Activities.

Marine park and aquatic reserve permits

When activities that require a section 37 permit take place in a marine park or an aquatic reserve, they are likely to also require a marine park or aquatic reserve permit issued under the Marine Estate Management Act 2014 and regulations.

Permits are required for many activities in NSW marine parks, including research, education, commercial activities, organised sporting events and any activity that may interfere with habitat. To find out if your proposed activity requires a marine park permit, please contact your local marine park.

An aquatic reserve permit is required for activities that are prohibited by the aquatic reserve notification. For more information please contact

How to apply for a Section 37 Permit

To apply for a permit, please complete an application form below. This must be completed in full and accompanied by:

Environmental Assessments

The department has a statutory responsibility under Section 5.5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to consider the environmental impacts of an activity before it can be assessed and authorised with a permit. To assess the likely impacts of a proposed activity, we require a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) to be completed.

The REF is prepared by the permit applicant and submitted to us for review with a completed permit application form. The REF will be used to help us make an assessment of the likely environmental impacts of the activity. A REF should be sufficiently detailed to enable us to examine and take into account to the fullest possible extent all matters affecting or likely to affect the environment by reason of the proposed activity.

Please complete the REF proforma below (under the Proforma heading) and submit with your application. The REF guidelines provide further information and will assist you in completing the REF.

If you need further information on Section 37 permits or an Environmental Assessment, please contact 02 4982 1232, or email: