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Commercial Fishing

The commercial fishing industry in Australia is highly regulated. The management of fisheries is split between the Commonwealth and the States with management plans targeting specific fish species and/or geographical areas. This results in a variety of licence regulations depending upon the legislative controls selected by the relevant State or Commonwealth Authority.

Add to this the fact that fisheries separately have regulation of the specification of equipment including vessels used in a fishery; and the fact that fisheries regularly undergo review, fishery laws can often quickly become extensive and complicated.

In this highly regulated environment licence entitlements have significant commercial value.

With often significant changes in entitlements, partly arising due to the trend to reduce entitlements on transfer, it is important to obtain appropriate and professional advice before entering into a commercial fishing business or venture or into any transfer or assignment of entitlements or licences relating thereto.

How We Can Help

Stephen Woodward, Principal of Woodward Lawyers has had extensive experience in the fishing industry including:

  • Transactions involving the sale or purchase of fishing businesses, vessels and/or licences and/or acting entitlements;
  • Acting on behalf of industry groups in making representations and submissions for draft industry plans and management plans;
  • Appearing before Tribunals seeking review and re-determination of Department decisions on entitlements;
  • Actions in the Supreme & High Court relating to fishing licences and rights.

If you would like to discuss your fishing or fisheries matter, please contact: