Explanation of your levies 2017-18

How do I know what my levies will be?

You will have recently received a licence renewal notice that includes the levies for your commercial licence for 2017/18.


Management– covers operational policy and management services for each of Victoria's commercial fishing licence classes, including services for setting of quota and harvest limits in quota fisheries.

Compliance– covers inspection services provided by Fisheries Officers, including preparation and travel required to undertake inspections.

Research – covers data collection and analysis services required to monitor and assess fish stocks.

Administration– covers catch and effort recording services, support for app-based services associated with licensing that are not subject to transaction fees, and industry participation on the Fisheries Cost Recovery Standing Committee.

FRDC Levy – the Victorian Government collects a levy that goes to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) on behalf of all commercial fishing licence holders in Victoria, including aquaculture. The amount collected is set through the Fisheries (Fees, Royalties and Levies) Regulations 2008 at 0.25% of the Gross Value of Production (GVP) of each licence class (averaged over the preceding 3 years). GVP is the gross weight of fish harvested per annum multiplied by the average price per kg of the fish.

Grants levy – a grants levy is collected on behalf of all wild-catch commercial licence classes and fish receivers for representation by Seafood Industry Victoria (SIV).  The monies collected by the Department are subsequently disbursed in their entirety through a Ministerial grant to SIV.  


As part of the new cost recovery system, consultation is used to discuss cost recovered services and levies. An important part of these discussions is finding ways to improve the efficiency of services described in the service schedule for each licence class and also to ensure that levies properly reflect the services delivered. An annual process of review and adjustment is overseen by the Fisheries Cost Recovery Standing Committee and is used to determine changes to the Fishery Service levies set in the Fisheries (Fees, Royalties and Levies) Regulations 2008 (the Regulations).

Where an ongoing change to a levy is required, this is made through the Regulations and is referred to as an adjustment. Where a change is temporary or partial, for example for only one year or for part of a service, the change is provided through a refund (as an offset) or waiver.

For the first three years of the new cost recovery system, both types of change to levies have occurred, and will again in 2017-18.          

The revised levies can be viewed at http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/ under Victorian Statute Book > Statutory Rules by Title > 2017 > Fisheries (Fees, Royalties and Levies) Amendment Regulations 2017.

Adjustments apply from 1 April for that year and apply to all of the licences held within a licence class. Waivers may be made throughout the year and notification is provided to the affected individual licence holders.

In 2016, waivers were provided to the sea urchin and aquaculture (crown land – eels) licence classes. In 2017, the scallop dive (Port Phillip Bay) will be subject to waivers.


For 2017/18, offsets have been provided to levies where services were found to be incorrectly costed, or not fully delivered, according to the service schedule for the licence class. Eight licence classes will receive an offset for Compliance Services and 8 licence classes will received an offset for research services not fully delivered.

A summary of offsets for each licence class for 2017/18 is provided below:

Table 1. Offsets per licence for waivers and reductions to be applied to commercial levies for 2017/18 licensing year under Regulation 23B.



Fishery Service



Licence Class


Compliance ($)



Bait (Gippsland Lakes)




Bait (PPB Mussel)




Bait (Snowy River)




Bait (Sydenham Inlet)





Corner Inlet








Gippsland Lakes








Trawl (Inshore)





Westernport/Port Phillip Bay








Aquaculture – Crown Land Abalone




Aquaculture - Onshore abalone




Aquaculture - Private Land Marine




Scallop Dive (Port Phillip Bay)





*denotes the amount to be offset, or waived, per licence for a Fishery Service.


A number of concessions were provided by the Minister prior to the new, forward looking cost recovery system commencing on 1 April 2014. A summary of the concessions can be found at Fisheries Cost Recovery 2017.

The small operator concession is assessed on an annual basis. The licence classes eligible for this concession for 2017-18 under the new cost recovery system are listed below, along with those from the previous two years:




Gippsland Lakes Mussel Dive

Gippsland Lakes Mussel Dive

Gippsland Lakes Bait

Port Phillip Bay Mussel Dive

Port Phillip Bay Mussel Dive

Port Phillip Bay Mussel Dive


Bait General

Bait General

Lake Tyers Bait

Lake Tyers Bait

Lake Tyers Bait


Sydenham Inlet Bait

Sydenham Inlet Bait

Snowy River Bait

Snowy River Bait

Snowy River Bait

Private Land Eels

Giant Crab

Mallacoota Lower Lake Bait

Private Land Other

Private Land Yabbies*

Private Land Other

Private Land Marine

Private Land Marine

Private Land Marine

Private Land Tourism

Private Land Tourism

Private Land Tourism

Crown Land Abalone

Crown Land Abalone

Crown Land Abalone

Scallop (Ocean)

Scallop (Ocean)*

Crown Land Offshore


Crown Land Eels

Abalone royalties and grants levies

Grants levies

In addition to the grants levy for representation by SIV, a grants levy is collected on behalf of abalone western and central zone licence classes, with the monies disbursed through a Ministerial grant to Western Zone Abalone Association (WADA) and Abalone Victoria Central Zone (AVCZ), respectively.   


Royalties apply to abalone quota units only.

Royalties vary from year to year dependent upon the gross value of production (GVP) for the fishery in the given year. For each of the 3 abalone licence classes, the sum of the levies for Fishery Services, FRDC levy and Royalties will total 7.2% of GVP. Therefore as the levy for Fishery Services decreases, the Royalties increase and vice versa. This provides a cap on the amount paid by abalone licence holders and the services delivered to these licence classes.

What next?

The cost recovery system operates on an annual basis. Following the issue of licences, Fishery Services are provided and reported on twice yearly. Service delivery is assessed around August to October each year and, if non-delivery occurs, offsets and adjustments are calculated. When issues arise in a fishery and additional services are required, this is also assessed and may lead to additional levies being established for the following year.

The Fisheries Cost Recovery Standing Committee oversees cost recovery activities and meets up to four times per year. Their role is to advise the Minister and DEDJTR on cost recovery matters across all fisheries at a strategic level.

Consultation with individual licence classes can occur at any point during the year but typically takes place in May-July so that adjustment to services and the associated costs can be established for the following licensing year.

To see the latest report on services delivered to your fishery, please visit Cost Recovery Reporting.

To see what concerns have been considered by Fisheries Cost Recovery Standing Committee (FCRSC), please visit the FCRSC main page.