Indigenous fishing permit - Queensland


An indigenous fishing permit (IFP) allows an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or community to trial a commercial fishing activity without having to initially acquire commercial fishing authorities.

An IFP does not have an impact on your existing native title rights and interests. However, you cannot sell product that was taken under native title rights, and the product is not part of the IFP. There are further restrictions on an IFP to prevent traditional fishing and commercial fishing taking place at the same time under an IFP.

Service type


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

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to apply, you will need to provide:

  • a business plan that sets out the main elements of your proposed fishing operation
  • proof that you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.


An IFP is initially granted for 1 to 3 years. If you want to continue to operate after this period, you will need to buy or lease the necessary authorities on the open market, and operate as a standard commercial fisher.


Fees Details for this service in table format.

Task Type Business Structure Description
Apply Application All

No fee applies for this permit.


Approval time

Applications are generally assessed within 3 months. However, this will depend on the complexity of the application and how much information you have provided.


You cannot transfer this permit.

Additional information

Existing rules that apply to commercial fishing also apply under an IFP. These include catch logbooks, telephone reporting, vessel tracking, gear restrictions, seasonal closures, area closures and size limits. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning restrictions and commercial vessel registration regulations also apply.

The factors that will be considered when making a decision about an IFP include:

  • the species you proposed to harvest, their stock status and any sustainability concerns
  • existing management arrangements for the species or fishery (e.g. quota species)
  • other IFPs issued for a particular fishery or area
  • the merit of the applicant, including the business case and previous fishing experience.

The first consideration is to ensure the sustainability of fisheries resources.

Administering agency

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Fisheries Queensland

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:


Fisheries Queensland

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Mailing address: PO BOX 2764
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Phone: 07 3087 8812
Fax: 07 3229 8182