Seafood Harvesting Licence - Victoria

Service summary

You will require this licence if you intend to operate a business that harvests (catches) seafood for human consumption. There are two types of seafood harvesting licences:

  • wildcatch licences
  • aquaculture licences.

An aquaculture licence is required for seafood businesses that grow and harvest seafood (usually under the authority of an aquaculture licence). There are three categories of aquaculture licences:

  • abalone
  • blue mussels and other shell fish
  • fin fish (including trout and yabbies).

A wildcatch licence is required by businesses that harvest wild seafood under a Victorian or Commonwealth fisheries licence. There are four categories of wildcatch licences:

  • abalone
  • crustaceans
  • noxious fish
  • general (all species except abalone, crustaceans and noxious fish).

Under a seafood harvesting licence, processing of the seafood is only permitted to the extent that it is required to preserve and maintain the seafood in a condition fit for sale. Selling harvested seafood from a vessel at the point of unloading is also permitted.

If you conduct, or intend to conduct, a seafood business in relation to the sale of live yabbies, you may apply for an exemption from licensing. To apply for this exemption, you must:

  • sell live yabbies from the location of your business or place of production
  • not use a vehicle in the sale of live yabbies
  • hold the appropriate fisheries permit.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

Operations for a wildcatch or aquaculture business cannot commence until a licence has been issued by PrimeSafe. To be eligible for this licence you must:

  • ensure that the facility complies with the construction requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code prior to submitting an application;
  • submit your application to the authority including details of your operation;
  • submit other documentation that may be required (including a food safety plan); and
  • pay the prescribed fees.

All vehicles used for the conveyance and transportation of seafood for human consumption are required to be licensed (except for the transportation of live seafood which must be covered under the food safety plan for the licensed seafood business).

You may also be required to hold a valid fishery or aquaculture licence.

Please consult the responsible agency for more information regarding eligibility requirements.



Up to 3 years.


30 June.



Please consult the responsible agency for information on fees to be submitted.



Lodge your application and accompanying documentation directly with the agency. Following receipt of the application, a PrimeSafe licensing manager will contact you to make arrangements to inspect the facility, before approval can be granted.

Approval time

Allow 10 days for your application to be processed.

Administering agency


Act(s) name

Seafood Safety Act 2003 (Victoria)

Contact details


Operating address:
150 Albert Road
South Melbourne, Victoria 3205
Mailing address:
PO BOX 2057
South Melbourne, Victoria 3205


03 9685 7333


03 9696 5284

Supporting information


The information contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) web site, or via packages or other sources is intended for general guidance only.

To the full extent permitted by law, the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments make no representations or warranties (expressed or implied) in relation to the information, including its accuracy, currency or completeness.

The business information provided does not constitute professional or legal advice, nor is the use of any third party resource an endorsement of the information contained, the associated organisation, product or service. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate professional and /or independent legal advice to ensure that the material provided here is relevant to your particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments, their employees and agents do not accept any liability for any reason, including without limitation, liability in negligence, to any person for the general information which is provided herein, or in respect of anything, including the consequences of anything done, or not done, by any such person in whole or partial reliance upon the information.