• Queensland
  • 0427373844

Setting up from scratch (some minimal requirements): notes you might find useful if you are thinking about investing in the Qld’s net, line or crab commercial fishing industry


Disclaimer: these notes are not exhaustive. They are solely for reference and not supported by a Govt agency. The Fishermens Portal Inc provides these notes on the basis that the user indemnifies it against any loss or damage arising from the use of this information. Investors should seek their own council as to the appropriateness of this information relative to their individual circumstances.


Be aware that regulation is constantly changing. Currently all Qld fisheries are under review and consequently there is a current investment warning. To find out more about the investment warning click here



Vessel Qualifications:


  1. Vessel Manning: Minimum manning qualification: Coxswain
    1. 30 days sea time
    2. Marine radio operator
    3. Shipboard safety at sea
    4. Relative modules through a Maritime training service provider
    5. Current first aid


  1. Vessel must be compliant

You need to ensure your vessel has a current Certificate of Operation (CoO). When AMSA took over from Marine Safety Qld, all fishing vessels were required to comply with a new system (the one we have today which we refer to as NSCV.)

Many vessels were granted exemptions during the transition to the new rules. If the vessel you are considering is listed as an ‘existing vessel’ you should find out more here Additionally it would be a good idea to talk to someone who has a lot of experience in the industry before you make your purchase


  1. Safety Management System (SMS)
    1. It is not difficult to set up an SMS for your operation. More information is available here
    2. A video explaining how to develop a safety management system. Watch this 16 minute video for easy to understand steps, real-world stories and experiences of why an effective safety management system (SMS) is essential when working in the fishing industry.


  1. AMSA Liaison Officer

The Liaison Officer for Qld is a very helpful and easy-going fellow: Mick Bishop

Contact number: 0418883712 and email mick.bishop@amsa.gov.au



Fisheries Queensland

Fishing is becoming more and more complex in Queensland. Before you make any investment there is a lot to consider.

Govt is clamping down on illegal fishing activity which is great for the commercial sector. For many years, black market operations enjoyed relative invisibility but this has changed. Stiff penalties apply and more and more, commercial operations will benefit from the renewed efforts of enforcement agencies.

There is so much more than just catching and selling product. If you have no experience in the industry you should consider trying to work for someone for a few months at least. You need to make sure that your business plan is flexible so that you can absorb costs and down time that you may not be able to anticipate before you begin.

This link is a good place to start


Get to know your local Boating and Fisheries Officer

You can find the contact details of your local boating and fisheries officers here.

It is recommended that you go around and say hi and let them know what you are thinking about doing. Ask them if they have any advice. Most of the guys are terrific and if they know you are serious about doing the right think it’s a good way to start.



Master fisher’s licence:

  1. Download the application here


Food Safe:

  1. You need to have Food Safe certification. Give them a call and they will be able to give you the details


General Knowledge:

Many people have large investments in Queensland’s net, line and crab fisheries. Even though an operation may be small, that person relies on it for a living. It's a life's commitment for many of us and we take things very seriously. Our members pride themselves on their reputation and we encourage anyone who is coming into the industry to become familiar with the local issues before they start work.

You can contact the members of That's WIld! and the people who are listed on the home page of the Portal for more information about each fishery.

We have a list of surveyors and vessel insurers you can talk to about vessels.

It will pay to check all the brokers out if you can. This page will take you to a list of brokers who have websites 

When it comes to selling your fish locally you can enquire with any of our seafood merchants here

To keep up to speed with current events it’s a good idea to become a member of the Portal. We are the largest commercial fishing representative body in Queensland and it's certainly worth getting on board. If you would like to know more please contact me on the number below. Download a membership form here.



MUD CRABS? NO PROBLEM: (follow this link)

Here is a terrific summary of information regarding mud crabs. 


Robert Pender





Be part of our future