In Victoria any person or company that wishes to conduct aquaculture activity is required to hold an aquaculture licence issued under section 43 of the Fisheries Act 1995 (the Act). The holder of an aquaculture licence is bound by the conditions prescribed by the Act and the Fisheries Regulations 2019 and conditions prescribed in the licence. Conditions of an aquaculture licence may vary depending on the type of activity being conducted, the species being farmed or any other reason that the Secretary considers appropriate.

Aquaculture activity may include hatching, rearing, breeding, displaying or growing specified species for sale or other commercial purposes, and the use of commercial aquaculture equipment.

An aquaculture licence may be issued to a person, or a company or cooperative registered in Australia. An applicant for a licence must be considered a fit and proper person to hold the licence.

An aquaculture licence may specify:

  • The area within which the aquaculture activity is authorised;
  • The species;
  • Type of equipment or infrastructure;
  • Environmental management requirements;
  • Translocation procedures;
  • Waste management requirements;
  • Records and reporting requirements;
  • Biosecurity requirements; and
  • Other conditions.

Species for which an aquaculture licence may be required include:

  • All species of aquatic vertebrates excluding mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians;
  • Sharks, ray, lampreys and other cartilaginous fish;
  • Aquatic molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.

Aquaculture licences authorise the holder to conduct aquaculture activities and include the following classes of licence:

  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Eels) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Indoor Intensive) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Marine) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Ornamentals) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Other) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Salmonids) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land – Tourism) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Warm Water Finfish) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Yabbies) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Private Land—Yabbies—Multiwaters) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Crown Land—Abalone) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Crown Land—Bivalve Shellfish) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Crown Land—Eels) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Crown Land—Offshore) Licence
  • Aquaculture (On-shore Abalone) Licence
  • Aquaculture (Crown Land—Other) Licence

The Act provides for other authorisations including a general permit provision. A general permit may be issued to a person by the Secretary and may authorise the holder to do those things listed in Section 49(2) of the Act. Holders of general permits are bound by the conditions expressed on the general permit.

For licensing enquiries and application forms contact Commercial Licensing at (03) 8392 6861.