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NSW Fishing Licence
Fishing News

NSW Fishing Licence | Everything You Need to Know

NSW Fishing licences play a vital role in ensuring sustainable fishing practices and protecting aquatic ecosystems. In NSW, possessing a valid fishing licence is a legal requirement for recreational fishing. By obtaining a licence, you contribute to the management and conservation of fish stocks and enable the government to implement effective fisheries management strategies.

Types of NSW Fishing Licences

  1. Recreational Fishing Fee

The Recreational Fishing Fee is the most common licence among recreational anglers. It allows you to fish in saltwater and freshwater environments across NSW.

  1. Abalone Licence

If you’re specifically interested in abalone fishing, you’ll need to obtain an Abalone Licence. This licence permits you to harvest abalone in designated areas during the open season.

  1. Lobster Fishing Licence

For those keen on catching lobster, an NSW Lobster Fishing Licence is required. It grants you permission to fish for lobster within specified locations and timeframes.

  1. Net Fishing Licence

If you prefer using a net for fishing purposes, you must acquire an NSW Net Fishing Licence. This licence allows you to use specific types of nets for commercial or recreational purposes.

How to Obtain an NSW Fishing Licence

Online Application Process

  1. Visit the official website of the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
  2. Navigate to the fishing licence section and choose the appropriate licence type.
  3. Fill out the application form with your personal details and relevant information.
  4. Pay the required fee online.
  5. Once your application is processed, you’ll receive a digital copy of your licence via email.

In-Person Application Process

  1. Locate an authorized NSW fishing licence agent or a Service NSW centre near you.
  2. Provide the necessary information and complete the application form.
  3. Pay the licence fee at the counter.
  4. Obtain a printed copy of your fishing licence.

Licence Fees and Validity

Recreational Fishing Fee Costs

The Recreational Fishing Fee is an annual licence and is available for different durations. The fees vary depending on factors such as age, residency status, and the type of fishing you wish to engage in. Here are some common fee categories:

  • Adult NSW Resident: $7 for 3 days, $14 for 1 month, or $35 for 1 year.
  • Junior NSW Resident (under 18 years): $3 for 3 days, $6 for 1 month, or $7 for 1 year.
  • Non-Resident (over 18 years): $14 for 3 days, $35 for 1 month, or $85 for 1 year.

Other Licence Fee Costs

The costs for other fishing licences, such as the Abalone Licence, Lobster Fishing Licence, and Net Fishing Licence, vary and are subject to specific regulations. It’s essential to check the NSW Department of Primary Industries website or contact the appropriate authorities to determine the exact fees associated with these licences.

Fishing Regulations and Restrictions

To ensure the sustainability of fish populations and maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems, NSW has implemented various fishing regulations and restrictions. Familiarize yourself with the following guidelines:

Size and Bag Limits

Size and bag limits are in place to protect fish stocks and maintain breeding populations. These limits specify the minimum and maximum sizes of fish you can catch and possess, as well as the number of fish you’re allowed to keep within a given period. It’s crucial to adhere to these limits to preserve the fishery’s long-term health.

Protected Species

Certain species of fish, crustaceans, and other marine life are protected in NSW. It is strictly prohibited to catch, possess, or harm these protected species. Make sure you are familiar with the list of protected species and follow the guidelines to avoid any legal consequences and contribute to conservation efforts.

Restricted Fishing Areas

Some areas in NSW have specific restrictions or closures to protect sensitive habitats or breeding grounds. It’s important to be aware of these areas and abide by the regulations to prevent damage to the ecosystem and ensure the sustainability of fish populations.

Seasonal Closures

To promote the breeding and spawning of certain species, seasonal closures are enforced in specific locations during specific times of the year. These closures aim to allow fish populations to replenish and maintain healthy stocks. Stay informed about these closures to plan your fishing trips accordingly.

Rules and Etiquette for NSW Anglers

As responsible anglers, it’s essential to follow certain rules and practice good fishing etiquette to protect the environment and foster a positive fishing experience for everyone. Consider the following guidelines:

Responsible Fishing Practices

  • Respect catch and size limits.
  • Use appropriate fishing gear and techniques.
  • Properly handle and release undersized or unwanted catch.
  • Dispose of fishing-related waste responsibly.

Reporting Catch Information

Participate in data collection efforts by reporting your catch information to the relevant authorities. This data helps monitor fish populations, assess fishing pressure, and inform management decisions for sustainable fishing practices.

Environmental Conservation

Preserve the natural beauty of NSW’s waterways by minimizing your impact on the environment. Avoid littering, follow designated paths, and refrain from damaging vegetation or disturbing wildlife.


Obtaining an NSW fishing licence is a crucial step for any angler who wishes to enjoy the waters of New South Wales. By understanding the importance of fishing licences, knowing the different types available, and familiarizing yourself with the regulations and restrictions, you can ensure a responsible and enjoyable fishing experience while contributing to the conservation of fish stocks and aquatic ecosystems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Do I need an NSW fishing licence? Yes, an NSW fishing licence is required for recreational fishing in NSW waters, unless you are exempted under specific circumstances. It’s important to have a valid licence to comply with the law.
  2. Can I fish without a licence in NSW? Fishing without a valid licence is illegal in NSW, except under certain exemptions.
  3. Where can I purchase an NSW fishing licence? You can purchase an NSW fishing licence online through the official website of the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Alternatively, you can also visit authorized fishing licence agents or Service NSW centers in person to obtain your licence.
  4. Are there any age restrictions for obtaining a licence? No, there are no age restrictions for obtaining an NSW fishing licence. However, certain age limits may apply for specific types of licences or activities. It’s best to check the regulations or contact the relevant authorities for detailed information.
  5. Can I transfer my licence to someone else? No, NSW fishing licences are non-transferable. Each individual must obtain their own licence to engage in recreational fishing.

Remember to respect size and bag limits, be aware of protected species, follow any restricted areas or seasonal closures, and practice responsible fishing techniques. By doing so, you’ll not only comply with the law but also contribute to the long-term sustainability of the fisheries in NSW.



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