Australia’s oceans make us a world leader in sustainably producing world class pearls.
Supporting pearling in our marine parks creates jobs in the pearling industry, puts money into the economy and regional communities, and delivers beautiful pearls that are sold all over the world.
Where is pearling allowed?
The management plans set out where commercial pearling is allowed in Australian Marine Parks.
Pearling is allowed under certain circumstances in the North and North-west Marine Park Networks in the following zones:
- Special Purpose zones
- Multiple Use zones
- Habitat Protection zones
For further information about the zones and rules in each marine park, check the activity tables in the factsheets for each network.
Maps are available for each network and marine park.
Do I need need an approval?
Yes. You must have approval from the Director of National Parks to undertake commercial pearling in marine parks.
The approval type depends on the type of activity you plan to undertake:
- Hand collection of wild oysters is allowable in accordance with a class approval.
- The re-location of collected oysters to holding sites and farm leases, cultivation, maintenance of structures and final harvest of pearls requires a licence from the Director of National Parks.
Class approvals are a general type of authorisation that automatically apply to users covered by the conditions. Class approvals are issued for marine park networks.
The hand collection of wild oysters is included within the current commercial fishing class approval for the North and North-west Marine Park Networks. The class approval specifies where hand collection can occur and includes conditions which must be followed.
As an operator, it is your responsibility to be aware of and meet the requirements of the class approval. A hard or electronic copy of the class approval must be kept on board your vessel and must be produced for inspection on request by an Authorised Officer.
The relevant class approvals are:
- North Marine Parks Network Commercial Fishing Class Approval
- North-west Marine Parks Network Commercial Fishing Class Approval
If you undertake these activities in Australian Marine Parks, you will need to apply for a licence from the Director of National Parks:
- re-location of collected oysters to holding sites and farm leases
- maintenance of holding sites
- final harvest of pearls.
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