Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program

The NSW Government’s Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program introduced linkages between shares and catch or effort, to provide greater certainty and ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the NSW commercial fishing industry. Fishers now have the ability to invest in their businesses with more certainty than ever before. Importantly, share linkages have been tailored to each share class.

A range of assistance measures has been provided to help industry through this transition process.

Changes to fishing boat licensing

From 1 July 2018, fishers only require a fishing boat licence if they are conducting certain fishing activities, known as “declared commercial fishing boat activities”. Fishers do not need a boat licence for:

  • a boat 6 metres or less in Ocean Hauling: Hauling Net (General Purpose),
  • a boat 10 metres or less in the Estuary General or Estuary Prawn Trawl fishery, or
  • a boat 20 metres or less in Ocean Hauling: Garfish Net (Hauling) or Ocean Hauling: Pilchard Anchovy Bait Net (Hauling).

From 1 May 2019, fishers do not need a boat licence for boats 20 metres or less in Ocean Trawl Inshore Prawn, Offshore Prawn or Fish Northern Zone.

All other activities that involve the use of a boat are “declared fishing boat activities” and require a boat licence.

For more information please see New boat licensing arrangements fact sheet (PDF, 49.1 KB)

Share linkage and management arrangements

Since 1 December 2017 new share linkage and management arrangements commenced in most share classes.

Fishers can learn how to adapt their business to Quota Management by, downloading the Hunter to Harvester guide (PDF, 1239.88 KB).

Licence renewals and management fees

For information on Commercial Fishing Licence and Fishing Boat Licence renewals and management fees, please see the Licensing & forms webpage.

Monitoring social and economic impacts

In February 2017, the Legislative Council’s General Purpose Standing Committee No. 5 released its final report from an inquiry into commercial fishing in NSW. Among other things, the report recommended “That the NSW Department of Primary Industries commission a Social Impact Assessment of the Business Adjustment Program on commercial fishers in New South Wales and make the findings of the assessment public.”

In response, NSW DPI commissioned Jacki Schirmer from the University of Canberra to identify the impacts of the commercial fisheries reforms and Business Adjustment Program, and recommend a process to monitor these impacts.

The NSW Government has engaged Professor Kate Barclay of the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, to undertake an independent assessment of the social and economic impacts of the NSW commercial fisheries Business Adjustment Program (BAP).

During September to November 2019 researchers from the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney undertook an independent assessment of the social and economic impacts of the BAP, and collected information the NSW Government can use for future monitoring of social and economic aspects of commercial fisheries.

The survey was open to all current and former NSW registered commercial fishers who were affected by the BAP.