Coast Watch boat in the water

DPI has responsibility for administering fisheries laws governing the fisheries resources of the state, which we do through our Fisheries Compliance Unit.

Fisheries Officers spend many hours on patrol, detecting and preventing illegal fishing and damage to fish habitats.

Everyone has a role in protecting fisheries in NSW. Learn more about how you can help stop illegal fishing and protect our fish habitats.

DPI is part of the National Fisheries Compliance Committee of the Australian Fisheries Management Forum. This committee has produced the Australian Fisheries National Compliance Strategy 2022–2026 that sets the operating parameters for fisheries compliance regulators in Australia and New Zealand.

DPI’s fisheries compliance enforcement policy and procedure provides the guiding principles necessary for a fair, safe, efficient and equitable application of fisheries and marine park laws in the day-to-day dealings of fisheries officers with stakeholders and the general community.

Help stop illegal fishing

Stealing fish and black marketing, as well as damage to fish habitats are serious problems and can impact on the sustainability of our fish stocks across NSW.

Report illegal or suspect fishing activities, or damage to fish habitats via:

For general fishing information, call the Fisheries Information Line on 1300 550 474.

Calls made to a 1800 number from a standard telephone are free to the caller. Calls made from a mobile may be charged at a timed rate.

Please note the report undertaken in 2004 on Illegal Fishing for Commercial Gain or Profit in NSW

Protecting our fish habitats

If you live and work on a riverbank anywhere in NSW, here is some important information to help you comply with the laws aimed at protecting fish habitat .

If you want to undertake any works on the banks of, or within a waterway, here is some important information to help you comply with the laws aimed at protecting fish habitats and fish passage .

How to become a fisheries officer

Fisheries officers perform a number of duties to ensure the compliance of fisheries laws in NSW. They include:

  • patrols of offshore waters, estuaries and inland freshwater areas
  • inspections of fishers’ catches to check bag limits and legal lengths, correct licensing conditions and equipment
  • administrative duties such as maintaining records, preparing correspondence and data entry
  • maintaining equipment they use such as boats and trailers.

You can find out what education, qualifications and skills are required to becoming a fisheries officer in NSW, as well as other information on the role, by reading through our Fisheries Officer Information Package.

Read about a day in the life of a Fisheries Officer.