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.

Under the Business Adjustment Program, some commercial fishers purchased more shares to secure their level of business activity, while others chose to sell their shares and exit the industry. A range of assistance measures has been provided to help industry through this transition process.

Key dates


Fri 27 July

Closing date for public submissions on the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for 17 species or species groups

Penalty Demerit Scheme consultation paper – open for comment

NSW Fishing Business owners and commercial fishers are encouraged to provide feedback on the scheme. Your input will help DPI achieve a workable, effective scheme that drives greater voluntary compliance and supports the viability and integrity of commercial fisheries in NSW.

From December 2018, demerit points will apply to commercial fishing licence holders only. Demerit points will accrue to shares into the future.

Provide feedback

A consultation paper is available for industry feedback.

Feedback closes 17 August.

What's next in 2018

As a guide, a few important milestones (with approximate dates) are listed below. DPI will provide more information to fishers as the year progresses.


By Sep

  • Release of final IAP reports and Government response
  • Total Allowable Catch (TAC) determinations for 17 new species or species groups
  • CommFish NSW meeting 4 (proposed)
By Nov
  • Issue of new quota shares for 17 new species/species groups + effort shares in Ocean Trawl
  • CommFish NSW meeting 5 (proposed)

New share linkage and management arrangements

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

To learn how you can adapt your business to Quota Management, download the Hunter to Harvester guide (PDF, 1239.88 KB).

Independent Allocation Panel

The Independent Allocation Panel (IAP) was established to provide advice to the government on the criteria to be used in allocating new species and effort quota shares in four fisheries.

The lAP process and consultation was managed by Grant Thornton Australia Ltd. Further information on the panel and updates are available on the Grant Thornton website.

Licence renewals and management fees

For information on 2018/19 Commercial Fishing Licence and Fishing Boat Licence renewals and management fees, please see the Licensing & forms webpage.