Pearling and Hatchery Licences - Western Australia


You will need a pearling licence or permit, including a farm lease, if you intend to undertake pearling. Pearling refers to various activities relating to commercial or scientific pearl oyster harvesting.

Pearling activities include:

  • taking
  • removing
  • dumping
  • holding
  • storing
  • transporting pearl oysters
  • practising pearl culture techniques.

Pearl oyster fisheries have been declared as limited entry fisheries. This means no new licences are being issued and minimum quotas can only be purchased from existing pearl farmers. There are 14 licences in circulation.

Service type


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

Eligibility requirements

Please consult with the Contact Officer for information on any eligibility requirements.

Ongoing eligibility requirements

Pearl oyster fisheries are subject to quotas that control the total number of oysters removed from the fishing grounds each year. You must ensure that you adhere to prescribed quotas, oyster size requirements and any other regulatory conditions.


As specified


Fees Details for this service in table format.

Task Type Business Structure Amount Description
Apply Application All $76.00

Annual hatchery permit fee. Fees for 2021-22

Apply Licence All -

Annual pearling licence fees, per quota unit:

  • zone 1 (wildstock) licence - $252.10
  • zone 2 and 3 (wildstock) licences - $715.80.

Fees for 2021-22.

Apply Licence All $108.70

Annual pearling (seeding) licence fee. Fees for 2021-22

Apply Licence All $316.00

Annual hatchery licence fee. Fees for 2021-22

Apply Licence All $76.00

Annual pearling permit fee. Fees for 2021-22

Apply Miscellaneous All $3169.23 Annual farm lease, per square nautical mile. Fees for 2021-22.


Act(s) name

Pearling Act 1990 Western Australia

Regulation(s) name

Pearling (General) Regulations 1991 Western Australia

Approval time

Approximately three to four months

Additional information

Fee units for pearling licences are calculated per quota unit. A quota unit refers to the number of units specified on pearling licences in respect to a zone or zones listed. 

Administering agency

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development


Contact details

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