Commercial Fishing - Frequently Asked Questions

​​​To make your life easier, we have answered frequently asked questions from our fishing clients, relating to commercial fishing licences, application forms, general fishing documents, and fees. Check back often as we will continue to update this guide with relevant information.


Contact Details

What do I do if my contact details change?

  • To change any of your contact details you must lodge the Notification of Change of Address and/or Contact Details form. You can obtain the form from our Commercial Licensing Forms web page.


What do I need to do to receive my fishing certificates and communications via email?

  • To nominate an email address, or update your nominated email address for electronic communications with DPIPWE, you must lodge the Consent for Communication by Electronic Notification form. You can obtain the form from our Commercial Licensing Forms web page.


Demerit Points

What is the number of demerit points a person, licence or fishing certificate can accumulate before disqualification or suspension from obtaining or holding a licence?

  • 200 or more demerit points.


How long do demerit points remain in force on the licence?

  • A demerit point allocation to a person, licence or fishing certificate remains in force for a period of 5 years from the date of conviction.


Are demerit points transferred with the licence?

  • Yes, any demerit point allocated to a licence or fishing certificate continues in force if the licence or fishing certificate is transferred to a new  holder.
  • The Department keeps a register of demerit points, which may be examined on application. A fee applies to examination of the register.
  • For more information please refer to the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 on the DPIPWE legislation and rules website.


Fees

When do fees increase?

  • Every financial year on the 1st July, fees are increased under the Tasmanian Fees Unit Act 1997.
  • You can find a clear list of relevant fees for each transaction on our Commercial Licensing Forms web page.

Do licensing fees include GST?

  • No, there is no GST charged with licensing fees.


Fish Processing Licences

Do I need a Fish Processing Licence?

For commercial purposes, anyone who processes abalone, giant crab, rock lobster, banded morwong, or scallop must hold a fish processing licence. Additionally, anyone who processes more than 100 kilograms of marine plants or 10 tonnes of any other prescribed fish in any licensing year, being 1st September to 31st August, must hold a fish processing licence.

What is meant by a “place” on a fish processing licence?

  • The Fisheries (Processing and Handling) Rules 2010 defines ‘place’ as
     “any building or structure, whether permanent or temporary”.
    This means any place where a fish processor processes, stores or holds fish.


What fish must be specifically endorsed on a fish processing licence?

A fish processing licence enables the holder to process, hold or store fish, and most do not need to be specifically endorsed on the licence. The fish that do need to be specifically endorsed on a fish processing licence are:

  • Abalone - wild caught
  • Abalone - marine farmed
  • Banded Morwong
  • Giant Crab
  • Rock Lobster
  • Scallop
  • Bull Kelp (Durvillaea potatorum)
  • Undaria (Undaria pinnatifida)
  • Sea Grass (undifferentiated)
  • Seaweed (Caulerpa species)
  • Seaweed (Chaetomorpha coliformis)
  • Seaweed (Cladosiphon species)
  • Seaweed (Ecklonia radiata)
  • Seaweed (Codium fragile)
  • Seaweed (Gracilaria species)
  • Seaweed (Grateloupia filicina)
  • Seaweed (Grateloupia turuturu)
  • Seaweed (Lessonia corrugata)
  • Seaweed (Macrocystis pyrifera)
  • Seaweed (Sargassum species)
  • Seaweed (Ulva species)
  • Other (any other marine plant not listed)


How do I add or remove a place or species on my fish processing licence?

  • To change a place or species details on your fish processing licence, complete and lodge an Application to Vary a Fish Processing Licence form on our Commercial Licensing Forms webpage.


Who can sign fish processing receipt and dispatch dockets?

  • Only the licence holder and supervisors endorsed on the fish processing licence can sign fish processing receipt and dispatch dockets. The Application to Add and/or Remove a Supervisor can be found on our Commercial Licensing Forms webpage.


Grant a Licence

Which licence types can be granted as new licences?

New licences that can be granted are:

  • Fishing Licence (personal)
  • Fishing Licence (vessel – abalone only)
  • Fishing Licence (marine plant)
  • Fishing Licence (introduced marine plant)
  • Fishing Licence (pacific oyster)
  • Fish Processing Licence

To obtain any other licence type, you must enter into an agreement with an existing licence holder and apply to have the licence transferred. This is in accordance with fishery management plans, where the number of licences available in any fishery is capped. The application forms to grant or transfer fishing licence can be found on our Commercial Licensing Forms webpage.


Are there limitations to who can apply for the grant of a licence?

Some limitations apply, these include:

  • The applicant for a Fishing Licence (vessel – abalone only), must hold or supervise a Fishing Licence (abalone dive)
  • The applicant for a Fishing Licence (introduced marine plant) must hold or supervise a Fishing Licence (commercial dive)


Interest and Ownership

What licence types does registration of interest and ownership relate to?  

  • Interest and ownership is registered over rock lobster, giant crab and abalone quota under deed (AQUD) units under their respective licences.
  • The Register maintained under the Fishing Licence (Ownership and Interest) Registration Act 2001 records the holder (owner) of the licence and any person having an interest in the quota units held under the licence.


Do I need to register ownership of a licence/units?

  • The transferee (vendor) of a permanent transfer of an Abalone Quota Under Deed (AQUD), fishing licence (rock lobster), or fishing licence (giant crab) must register ownership of the Deed or licence by using the Application to Register Ownership and/or an Interest form.
  • The transferee (vendor) of the permanent transfer of rock lobster or giant crab units must vary ownership of their existing licence to include the new units, by using the Application to Cancel or Vary an Entry in the Register form. The Application to Register Ownership and/or an Interest is only required in this instance if interest is also being registered at the time of transfer.


How do I register interest over units?

  • To register interest over rock lobster, giant crab or abalone quota under deed (AQUD) units the licence holder and interest holder are required to fill out the Application to Register Ownership and/or an Interest form.


How do I cancel or vary interest over units?

  • To cancel interest over rock lobster, giant crab or abalone quota under deed (AQUD) units the licence holder and interest holder are required to fill out the Application to Cancel or Vary an Entry in the Register form.

The Application to Register Ownership and/or an Interest and Application to Cancel or Vary an Entry in the Register forms, and associated fees, can be found on our Commercial Licensing Forms webpage.


Payments

How do I make payments for applications?

  • Payment or proof of payment of the prescribed fee must accompany the signed application form in order for the application to be lodged in full and to be considered for processing. Payments can be made by:

 

  1. Electronic Bank Transfer
    Account Name:    DPIPWE Clearing Account
    BSB:                   037001
    Account number:  268083
    Reference:           For renewals: Use your certificate number. For all other transactions: Contact Licensing on
                              03 6165 3000 or fisheries.licensing@dpipwe.tas.gov.au for a reference

    Note: you must attach a copy of the bank transfer receipt, as proof of payment, to the application form when lodging the application to the Department.

  2. In Person -
    Service Tasmania Shop or
    Fisheries Licensing at Level 1, 1 Franklin Wharf, Hobart, Tasmania
    • Cheque or money order
    • Cash
    • Credit or Debit

    Note: a limit of $20,000 applies to credit card payments.
    Note: Do not submit your signed application form to Service Tasmania Shop when making payment. Please attach a copy of the Service Tasmania Shop receipt, as proof of payment, to the application form when lodging the application to the Department.

  3. Post - GPO Box 44, Hobart, TAS, 7000

    • Cheque


Personal Information

How will my personal information be managed?


Personal information is managed in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act 2004 (PIP Act) and the Department’s personal information protection policy. You may access your personal information on written request to the Department, and you may be charged a fee for this service.

Your personal information will be collected for the purpose of managing Tasmania’s living marine resources under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 (the LMRMA) and the Fishing (Licence Ownership and Interest) Registration Act 2001 (FLOIRA), and will be used by the Department for purposes permitted by these Acts. Failure to provide this information may result in your application not being processed or the service you have requested not being provided.

Your personal information will be used for the primary purpose for which it is collected and may be disclosed to certified fishing bodies to enable the provision of industry information to you. Your personal information may also be disclosed to a service provider nominated by DPIPWE to provide fishery assessments and management advice on fishery issues, this includes the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).

The LMRMA requires the Secretary DPIPWE to keep a register of authorisations and fishing certificates. A person may be allowed to obtain a copy of, or an extract from, an entry in the register. The FLOIRA requires the Registrar to keep a register of ownership and interests in fishing licences. The Registrar is to make the register available for public inspection and a person may be allowed to obtain a copy of, or an extract from, any entry in the register.

By providing the Department with your personal information, you consent to the information being used for the purposes for which it has been collected. By providing the Department with personal information of third parties, you are declaring that the third parties have read the PIP Statement and consent to their personal information being provided to the Department on their behalf, and the use and disclosure of that information by the Department in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Statement.


Personal Information Protection Statement

Your personal information will be collected for the purpose of managing Tasmania’s living marine resources under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 (the LMRMA) and the Fishing (Licence Ownership and Interest) Registration Act 2001 (FLOIRA), and will be used by the Department for purposes permitted by these Acts. Failure to provide this information may result in your application not being processed or the service you have requested not being provided.

Your personal information will be used for the primary purpose for which it is collected and may be disclosed to certified fishing bodies to enable the provision of industry information to you. Your personal information may also be disclosed to a service provider nominated by DPIPWE to provide fishery assessments and management advice on fishery issues, this includes the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).

The LMRMA requires the Secretary DPIPWE to keep a register of authorisations and fishing certificates. A person may be allowed to obtain a copy of, or an extract from, an entry in the register. The FLOIRA requires the Registrar to keep a register of ownership and interests in fishing licences. The Registrar is to make the register available for public inspection and a person may be allowed to obtain a copy of, or an extract from, any entry in the register.

By providing the Department with your personal information, you consent to the information being used for the purposes for which it has been collected. You may access your personal information on written request to the Department, and you may be charged a fee for this service.

You may also be required on this form to provide the Department with personal information of third parties. By providing this information and signing this form, you are declaring that the third parties have read this statement and consent to their personal information being provided to the Department on their behalf, and the use and disclosure of that information by the Department accordingly.  


Personal Information Protection Reference

The Department complies with the Personal Information Protection Act 2004. The personal information collected from you will be managed in accordance with the Department’s personal information protection policy.


Proof of Identification

What do I require as proof of identification?

  • Photo identification is required for new clients. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s licence or passport. Proof of identification can be presented at the counter, or a copy posted or emailed to the Department. The Department may require copies to be certified.


Who can certify a copy of my identification?

  • A Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner of Declarations can certify a copy of identification. A list of occupation types that can certify a copy of my identification can be found at the Department of Justice website.

Renewals

How will I know when my licence is due for renewal?

  • Renewal notices are sent to clients by the Department approximately 6 weeks prior to the due date. If you have nominated an email address for electronic communications, your renewal notice will be sent to that address, otherwise it will be sent in the mail.

    There are 3 licensing expiration dates:
  1. Abalone: 31 December
  2. Vessel related licences: 28/29 February
  3. Processing, handling and personal fishing licences: 31 August


How do I renew my licence?

  • To lodge your renewal application in full and have it considered for processing, you must send your signed renewal application form, accompanied with the prescribed fees or proof of payment, to the Department.

    Your application can be submitted via:
    Email: fisheries.licensing@dpipwe.tas.gov.au
    Post: GPO Box 44, Hobart, TAS, 7001
    Fax: 03 6173 0252
    In Person: Level 1, 1 Franklin Wharf, Hobart, Tasmania
    Note: Do not submit your signed application form to the Service Tasmania Shop.

  • For how to pay, please see FAQ Section How do I make payments for applications?


Who can sign the renewal?

  • Only the licence holder can sign the renewal application.


How will I know that my licence has been renewed?

  • Once your renewal is processed you will receive your printed renewal by post or if you have elected for electronic notification it will be sent to your elected email address. If you wish to opt for electronic notification complete the Consent for Communication by Electronic Notification form on our Commercial Licensing Forms web page.


Will I receive a renewal reminder notice?

  • No, your renewal is your first and final notice.


What if I submit my renewal application late?

  • If you submit your signed renewal application form after the due date, an additional granting fee will apply to each licence on the renewal notice, with the exception of fish processing licences, fish handling licences, and personal fishing licences. This may delay the processing of the application and issuing of a renewed licence certificate.
  • Licence holders are reminded that pursuant to relevant management plans, the Minister can only consider a renewal of a licence if the renewal application is lodged within twelve months of the licence expiry date.


What if I do not want to renew my licence?

  • If you do not intend to renew your licence, you must return all unused portions of docket/receipt/record books issued by the Department and any unused rock lobster tags within 14 days of the expiration of the licence. It is an offence to possess certain docket/receipt/record books and/or unused rock lobster tags when not the holder of a relevant fishing licence.
  • You must retain all used portions of docket/receipt/record books issued by the Department, and any other fishing documentation for a period of 5 years.


Why has a supervisor been removed from my licence?

  • Any supervisor who is not the holder of a current fishing licence (personal) (FLP) will be removed from the licence at time of renewal. Rule 9 of the Fisheries Rules 2009 states that a person cannot supervise a licence or take fish for sale unless the person is the holder of a FLP. FLP’s expire on the 31st August annually.


Why are there industry levies on my renewal?

  • Under section 279 of the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995, the Minister at the request of a fishing body, may determine that a levy is payable by persons undertaking any activity under an authorisation if satisfied that the majority of persons likely to be affected are in favour of the levy. The levy cannot be opted out of, and must be paid along with all other prescribed fees.


Do I need to know anything else?

  • Licence holders are advised of their obligation to ensure any activities relating to the taking, possessing, processing and or selling of fish complies with the requirements of the Primary Produce Safety Act 2011, the Primary Produce Safety (Seafood) Regulations 2014 and any other relevant food safety authority. For further information contact Biosecurity Tasmania Food Safety at https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania or phone 03 6165 3091.


Supervisors

How do I add or remove a supervisor on a licence?

  • A licence holder may apply to have a supervisor added or removed to a licence. The application form can be found on our Commercial Licensing Forms webpage.

 

Do I require a fishing licence (personal) (FLP) to be a supervisor?

  • Yes, all supervisors endorsed on a fishing licence require a FLP. The only exceptions are purge site supervisors endorsed on a commercial dive or minor shellfish licence, supervisors endorsed on a fish processing licence, and supervisors endorsed to collect cast marine plants.


Transfers

Fishing Licence Transfers

Are supervisors and other endorsements (e.g. fish caufs) removed upon the transfer of a fishing licence?

  • Yes. Upon transfer, all endorsements including supervisor/s, vessel, fish caufs, purge sites, holding tanks, and special reporting requirements will be removed  from the licence. It is the licence holder’s responsibility to ensure that the supervisor is informed of this change. The new licence holder will need to submit relevant application/s to have the endorsements added to the licence. Forms can be found on our Commercial Licensing Forms webpage.


Are units/pots automatically transferred with the fishing licence?

  •  Yes, units/pots are automatically transferred with the fishing licence.  There is no need for any other application form to be submitted.


Seasonal and Permanent Unit Transfers

Must I transfer caught or uncaught units?

Seasonal Unit Transfer Requirements 

​Quota Unit Type
​Caught​Uncaught
​Banded Morwong

​Yes
​Giant Crab
​Yes
​Rock Lobster
​Yes
​Scallop​Yes

Note: Rock lobster pots and units can be transferred separately on a seasonal basis.
For further information please refer to the appropriate fisheries legislation and rules on the DPIPWE website.


Permanent Unit Transfer Requirements

​Quota Unit Type​Caught​Uncaught
​Banded Morwong

​Yes
​Giant Crab
​Yes
​Rock Lobster
​Yes​Yes
​Scallop​Yes​Yes

Note: The permanent transfer of rock lobster units must include the equal amount of rock lobster pots.
For further information please refer to the appropriate fisheries legislation and rules on the DPIPWE website.


What is the minimum and maximum quota units I can hold on a fishing licence?

Licence Quota Typ​e
Minimum Units
Seasonally

​Minimum Units
Permanently
Maximum Units
​Banded Morwong
​0​0​200
​Giant Crab
​0​1​300
​Rock Lobster
​0​1​200
​Scallop​10​101200​


For further information please refer to the appropriate fisheries legislation and rules on the DPIPWE website.


Vessels

Do I require a survey report when adding a vessel to a fishing licence?

  • Yes, but only if the vessel has never been registered with the Licensing Administration Branch.  They are not required if they have previously recorded in our database.


Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)

Do I require a vessel monitoring system (VMS) on my vessel?

VMS is required for vessels:

  • that are packaged with a fishing licence (giant crab) that has 15 or more giant crab quota units
  • that are abalone mother boats
  • that are undertaking abalone fishing trips as a mother boat and start a trip to take blacklip abalone outside the Bass Strait or northern area and conclude that trip outside the Bass Strait area or conclude a trip outside the northern area in which blacklip abalone was taken in the northern area
  • that are participating in an open scallop season or are undertaking scallop surveys


Do you need further help?

Phone: 03 6165 3000
Email: fisheries.licensing@dpipwe.tas.gov.au
Website: www.fishing.tas.gov.au
By Letter: GPO Box 44, Hobart, TAS, 7001
In Person: Level 1, 1 Franklin Wharf, Hobart, Tasmania




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