Agri Business

Aquaculture

With our head office Geelong Victoria, as well as regional offices in Torquay, Barwon Heads and Robe, South Australia, our Agribusiness Team are well poised to assist commercial fishing clients with all of their commercial fishing and business law ventures.  Being a coastal based law firm, many of our lawyers are across the commercial fishing industry and the various legal challenges that commercial fishing enterprises often face.  Some of the areas that our team can advise and assist commercial fishing clients with include:

  • Regulatory compliance under the Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic).
  • Sale and purchase of business;
  • Sale and purchase of commercial fishing vessels and equipment;
  • Commercial fishing licence applications;
  • Commercial fishing licence transfers;
  • Quota and pot/equipment transfers;
  • Boat registration permits;
  • Berthing and private moorings;
  • Loan Agreements;
  • Third party interests, financing agreements and liens;
  • Vessel monitoring systems and compliance;
  • Occupational health and safety and workplace relations;
  • Offences under the Environment Protection Act 1970(Vic) and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth);
  • PrimeSafe Retailer Licences;
  • Fish receiver licences.
  • Take for sale offences

Licensing – abalone, crayfish and mussels

Aquaculture licence

The Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic) regulates the conduct of aquaculture activities by persons in Victoria.

Under the Act, a person is required to hold an aquaculture licence for certain commercial activities they wish to undertake.

Activities which may require a licence include the following:

  1. use or create a habitat (whether artificial, natural or both) to hatch, rear, breed, display or grow specified species for sale or other commercial purposes;
  2. hatch, rear, breed, display or grow specified species for sale or other commercial purposes;
  3. use and / or possess specified or general commercial aquaculture equipment; and
  4. stock fish into protect waters.

The species for which a person requires an acquaculture licences include:

  1. All species of aquatic vertebrates but not including mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians;
  2. Sharks, ray, lampreys and other cartilaginous fish; and
  3. Aquatic molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.

A person who holds a licence is required to comply with conditions prescribed by the legislation and regulations, as well as any specific conditions on the licence, which vary depending on the activity being conducted and the species being farmed.

An aquaculture licence may specify matters including the species, types of equipment which may be used, the area in which the activity is authorised, record and reporting requirements and biosecurity requirements.

Wildcatch licence

If you are a person or business that catches seafood to land in Victoria for sale for human consumption, you will be required to apply for a wildcatch licence under the Seafood Safety Act 2003 (Vic).

Exemptions from the requirements to hold license for wildcatch include the following:

  1. The sale of live yabbies;
  2. Abalone harvesting, collecting, maintaining live for later processing or handling live for later processing; and
  3. Rock lobster harvesting, collecting, maintaining live for later processing or handling live for later processing.

How Coulter Legal can help

We can assist you understand your obligations in relation to aquaculture licencing to ensure that you are meeting your legislative requirements to obtain and maintain your licences.

Get in touch with us today

If your require any further information please contact our Agri Business team

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or call us on 03 5273 5273