Illegal Take for Sale

Fish and a five and ten dollar noteAnglers illegally selling their catch without a commercial licence threaten the sustainability of our fisheries resources, and are a major problem in Victoria.

Is it illegal to sell my recreationally caught fish?

Yes. Selling fish without a legitimate commercial licence to do so is illegal. As a recreational angler, you must not:

  • take fish (including bait and shellfish) for sale, barter or exchange; or
  • sell fish or expose fish for sale

Why is it important for anglers not to sell their catch?

Selling recreationally caught fish undermines the legitimate commercial fishing sector and our shared fisheries resource. It affects fish stocks and threatens the sustainability of our fisheries.

Illegal seafood supply chains negatively impact the availability and price of seafood for customers as well as increasing our consumer health risks.

If you are caught, the angler and buyer could face significant fines and jail terms.


What species are most commonly involved?

Fish commonly involved in illegal take for sale includes:

  • marine scalefish such as tuna, snapper and whiting
  • freshwater scalefish such as Murray cod
  • molluscs such as abalone, pipis and calamari/squid

What happens if you're caught selling fish without a commercial licence?

Individuals found selling their catch could:

  • be prosecuted and fined over $150,000; and
  • receive up to 10 years jail

Fish on a pier

What happens to the buyer?

Restaurants and seafood businesses found receiving or selling recreationally caught seafood could:

  • be prosecuted and fined over $150,000 as an individual or over $800,000 as a company; and
  • receive up to 10 years jail

Who do I contact if I suspect 'illegal take for sale' activity?

If you:

  • are approached by a recreational angler trying to sell their catch; or
  • suspect a seafood business is sourcing its seafood illegally

Report them to The Victorian Fisheries Authority's 24 hour, 7 day a week reporting service 13 FISH (133474)