Assistance measures

As part of the Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program, the Minister for Primary Industries accepted the recommendations of the Independent Allocation Panel (IAP) on the allocation of new species and effort quota shares. In addition, the Director General of the Department of Primary Industries has made Total Allowable Catch (TAC) fishing determinations for the first fishing period commencing in 2019.

The NSW Government recognised that as a result, some fishers may have wished to restructure their fishing businesses and made a variety of assistance measures accessible to help industry through the transition process. The financial assistance that was made available up 31 May 2019 included:

  • Low interest rate loans
  • Fishing business buyouts
  • Business advice grants
  • Fishing co-operative grants

Other assistance measures continue to be available as detailed below.

NSW Small Business Commissioner

The NSW Small Business Commissioner will provide ongoing support to fishers as the industry continues to adjust. The Business Connect program is available to help fishers that are considering exiting or adjusting their business.

Visit the Department of Industry website for more information.

Community awareness campaign

The NSW Government is partnering with industry to boost awareness for the NSW commercial fishing industry. $400,000 will fund the implementation of programs to build community support for the NSW fishing industry and improving local seafood demand.

This will help build a strong and valued reputation for a viable and productive commercial fishing industry in NSW.

Cap on management fees

The NSW Government delayed increases to management fees for fishers for 4 years, until July 2018 to give fishers more certainty through the transition process.

From July 2018, any increase in the total revenue collected from commercial fishing management charges will be capped at no more than 6% per year (above CPI) for a five-year period.

Application fees for paper-based share and fishing business transfers were also waived over the adjustment period, but were reintroduced from 1 March 2018.

Support services

A number of free support services are available to assist anyone who is experiencing difficulty, stress or mental health issues, whether related to the Business Adjustment Program or not. These include several telephone helplines which operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as free financial counselling and health services.

DPI maintains a list of these support services, most of which are available to fishers as well as rural primary producers