Australian Marine Parks

Carefully managed sustainable commercial fishing in our marine parks creates jobs in the fishing industry, puts money into the economy and regional communities, and delivers seafood to the plates of Australians.

Mandatory Vessel Monitoring for Commercial Fishers in Australian Marine Parks

To enhance compliance with Australian Marine Park rules, all commercial fishing vessels operating in or transiting through an Australian Marine Park must have Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) installed and activated no later than 1 July 2028.

Implementation will be phased-in across Australian states and territories from 1 July 2024. To find out more, visit: Mandatory Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) for commercial fishers in Australian Marine Parks.

Where is commercial fishing allowed?

The management plans set out where commercial fishing is allowed in Australian Marine Parks. Certain fishing gear is allowed in the following zones:

  • Special Purpose zones
  • Multiple Use zones
  • Habitat Protection zones in the water column.

Commercial fishing is not allowed in National Park and Sanctuary zones.

The plans set out in detail the types of fishing gear allowed in different zones.

For further information about the zones and rules in each marine park, look at the factsheets on each regional network.

Maps are available for each network and marine park:

Do commercial fishing vessels need approval to fish?

Yes, approval is required to undertake commercial fishing.

This is provided for through ‘class approvals’ which have been developed in consultation with the commercial fishing industry.

Class approvals are a general type of authorisation that apply to users doing the same activity. It means you don’t need to apply individually, minimising administration and costs for your business.

Class approvals specify where fishing activities can occur, and the methods and gear that may be used. They also list conditions which must be followed while fishing in Australian Marine Parks.

Commercial fishers who hold an existing Commonwealth or state government fishing concession generally do not require a separate permit or individual licence to operate in marine parks, and will not have to pay any new or additional fees.

Class approvals currently in place:

Where can commercial fishing vessels anchor?

Commercial fishing vessels are allowed to anchor in Australian Marine Parks, except in National Park or Sanctuary zones (unless it’s an emergency).

How can commercial fishing operators get involved in marine park management?

We currently work in partnership with a range of marine park users and stakeholders to manage, protect and better understand our marine parks.

If you’re interested in being involved in the management of Australian Marine Parks, please contact us via email.

Further information


Apply for a permit