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.
In 2018, the NSW Government introduced changes to fishing boat licensing so that fishers only required a fishing boat licence if conducting certain fishing activities, known as “declared commercial fishing boat activities”. Fishers did not need a boat licence for:
From 1 May 2019, the requirement for a fishing boat licence was removed for boats 20 metres or less in Ocean Trawl Inshore Prawn, Offshore Prawn and Fish Northern Zone.
These changes have now been superseded by the removal of boat licence requirements for all fishing boats – see Licensing & forms for more information.
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).
For information on Commercial Fishing Licence and Fishing Boat Licence renewals and management fees, please see the Licensing & forms webpage.
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 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.
The final report and the Government’s response are now available
Note: This is a revised version of the report, which was prepared and submitted by Professor Barclay in November 2020 following the discovery of a gap in the share transfer data (see footnote on page 30)