Buy Safe and Legal Seafood

Local restaurants, fish and chip shops, fish wholesalers and fish retailers illegally buying or trading recreationally caught fish and shellfish:

  • risk the health of their customers
  • damage the commercial fishing and aquaculture (fish farming) industries
  • put our fish populations at risk
  • weaken Victoria’s fisheries management which ensures fish resources can be shared equitably among all Victorians
  • harm Victoria’s excellent reputation for sustainable production of safe fish and shellfish.

Legal requirement

To help protect the integrity of our fisheries and the safety of our seafood, all seafood located in commercial premises must be accounted for by a receipt.

These requirements apply to all commercial wild catch fishers, all aquaculture producers and all seafood industry participants in Victoria.

Any person possessing fish in Victoria (other than the final consumer or bait user) will be required to have in their possession a receipt.

Don't jeopardise your customers' health or your business reputation:

Checking seafood is safe and legal

Fisheries Officers (from the Victorian Fisheries Authority) work with businesses selling, transporting, consigning, receiving or processing fish or fish products to maintain the integrity, safety and quality of Victorian produced seafood.

Fisheries Officers might come into your workplace because you work in a seafood industry or someone has reported recreationally caught fish are being sold from your premises.

What happens during an inspection?

When a Fisheries Officer enters your workplace, they will tell the person in charge, why they are there.

The main thing they want is for your business to be a selling safe and legal seafood. To help you make improvements, they might:

  • give you practical and constructive advice about how to correctly document any seafood you may have on the commercial premise
  • advise on how to comply with Victoria's seafood receipting laws

Find out more here.

Need more information about seafood receipts?

Please contact our Customer Service Centre on 136 186, to be put in touch with your local Fisheries Station.

Handling seafood intended for human consumption?

If your business is handling seafood for human consumption you need to be:

PrimeSafe is the Statutory Authority responsible for regulating meat, poultry, seafood and pet food in Victoria. PrimeSafe's primary objective is the provision of safe, wholesome meat, poultry and seafood for all consumers.

Under the Seafood Safety Act 2003, all seafood businesses in Victoria are required to hold a PrimeSafe licence in order to operate.

A seafood business is any business that involves the handling of seafood intended for sale for human consumption. Handling of seafood includes harvesting or collection of seafood, aquaculture, the maintaining of live shellfish, crustaceans and echinoderms for later processing and any processing activity. Processing of seafood includes (but is not limited to):

  • the skinning, gilling, gutting, filleting or shucking of seafood; or
  • the smoking, preserving, canning, curing or drying of seafood; or
  • the extracting mixing of seafood with other substances; or
  • the cooking of seafood (other than the cooking of seafood for immediate sale for human consumption without any further processing); or
  • packaging, storing and transporting of seafood.

PrimeSafe licence conditions require seafood businesses to comply with relevant Australian and Victoria Standards and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). Specifically for seafood business that handle shellfish, compliance with the Victorian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (VSQAP) and the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (ASQAP) are required.

For more information, visit