Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program

The NSW Government’s Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program introduced linkages between shares and catch or effort. Fishers 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. There is a range of assistance measures available to help industry through this transition process.

Key dates

30 September 2017 Shareholder eligibility for new quota shares determined
31 October 2017
Management charges determined for share managed fisheries
November 2017Free FishOnline Training Workshops
1 December 2017
  • New share linkage arrangements commence
  • New quota shares and quota will be issued
  • Applications for fishing business buyout payments and low interest rate loans close
  • Quota reporting must be submitted via the FisherMobile app (PDF, 117.4 KB)
23 February 2018 Market rules amendment: Payment period extended to 23 February 2018 for payments due to RAA. Visit Market rules for more information.

What's next: August to December 2017

What's next: Aug-Dec (PDF, 71.64 KB

FisherMobile app (PDF, 117.4 KB)

Free FishOnline Training Workshops November 2017

Free one hour training workshops are being held during November 2017 to help fishers understand how to use the online services available via FisherMobile (mobile device App) and FisherDirect (online computer based system). Please visit the workshop page for information on where the sessions will be held and how to register.

Share Class Fact Sheets

New rules will apply in most share classes from 1 December 2017. Fact sheets are available for each share class detailing the new share linkage arrangements and proposed new rules.

Notice to extend payment for buyers under the Market Rules

Under the Market Rules and the Notice of Market Rules Amendment published on the Website on 22 October 2017, buyers must pay the purchase price for each transfer of shares within 90 days of the issue of a Confirmation by DPI.  Confirmations were issued on 28 June 2017.

To allow further time for issues relating to income tax to be resolved with the Australian Tax Office, DPI is extending the period for payment of the purchase price of shares purchased in the Subsidised share trading market from  90 days to 240 days from the issue of a confirmation. This means buyers will have until 23 February 2018 to pay the purchase price to the RAA.

Interest on late payment of the purchase price will not start to accrue until the 240 day period has ended.

This extension of payment terms operates as an amendment to clause 8.4 of the Market Rules.

New quota shares to be issued

By 1 December, new quota shares will have been issued to eligible shareholders for the species that will be managed by catch quota from December 2017. The new quota shares provide an ongoing right to catch quota for the relevant species. Each year catch quota will be allocated to owners of the new quota shares.

Important dates for new quota shares

  • 31 August - You must ensure forms applying to transfer your existing shares, which make you eligible for new quota shares, are received by DPI
  • 30 September - shareholder eligibility for new quota shares determined

New quota shares (PDF, 110.52 KB)

Find out more about new quota shares.

Commercial fishing and fishing boat licenses

Commercial fishing licences - fees due by 31 July 2017

Renewal notices and reminders have been sent to all commercial fishers with fees due by 31 July 2017. The license renewal fee is $304. Please be aware that if a licence has not been renewed by 31 July 2017, the license will expire and the fisher will need to re-apply for a new license at a cost of $622.

Fishing boat licences

The requirement to hold a boat licence has been extended to July 2018, which is why renewal fees for fishing boat licences (FBL) have been waived for the period 1 July 17 to 30 June 2018.  However you must complete the FBL renewal and return to Fisheries Business Services. Providing there are no outstanding fishing boat fees a new FBL card will be issued.

Please call Fishing Business Services on 1300 720 662 if you have any questions regarding your renewal.

Management fees

Fishers should ensure DPI have received their share transfer forms by 31 October to ensure their correct shareholding is used to determine their management fees. There will be one installment of fees which will be payable early in the new year, 60 days after issue.

Fishers are encouraged to contact Fishing Business Services on 1300 720 662 if they would like to discuss this further.

NSW Small Business Commissioner

The NSW Small Business Commissioner will provide ongoing support to fishers as the industry continues to adjust in preparation for the share linkage arrangements which commence on 1 December 2017. The Business Connect program is available to help fishers that are considering exiting or adjusting their business.

Visit the Small Business website for more information.

Parliamentary inquiry

In November last year an inquiry was announced into commercial fishing in NSW. On 23 February 2017, the report from that inquiry was tabled in Parliament. The report can be accessed via the link below.

The NSW Government welcomes the Report from the General Purpose Standing Committee No.5’s (PDF, 313.13 KB) inquiry into commercial fishing in NSW. We support all recommendations in principle and are working to quickly implement them.

Response to Neil MacDonald report

The NSW Government engaged an independent consultant, Neil MacDonald, to advise of issues that should be considered regarding the implementation of the Business Adjustment Program.

After consultation with commercial fishers and industry stakeholders, including the Professional Fisherman’s Association, a range of issues were identified and additional measures developed to address key industry concerns raised, including the provision of greater certainty for those fishers undergoing the Independent Allocation Panel Process. More information can be found in the full response below.