Applying for a marine aquaculture lease and licence

Marine based aquaculture requires a lease and a licence. A lease grants the exclusive use of an area of water for marine aquaculture. A licence describes the activity that can be undertaken at the lease site.

Marine aquaculture leases

There are 4 types of marine aquaculture leases:

  • pilot lease
  • production lease
  • research lease
  • emergency lease.

Aquaculture leases within a current aquaculture zone must be endorsed by the Aquaculture Tenure Allocation Board (ATAB) before being assessed by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The role of ATAB is to advise the Minister on:

  • allocations for aquaculture tenure
  • approvals of aquaculture leases within aquaculture zones

through a competitive process.

Marine aquaculture licences

There are 6 types of marine licences for South Australian waters:

1. Intertidal mollusc licence

Generally allows for the farming of molluscs and algae in waters close to the shore. Oysters are commonly authorised on this licence, with farming structures including baskets on racks and rails, and longlines.

2. Subtidal mollusc licence

Generally allows for the farming of molluscs and algae in waters offshore. The main species are:

  • mussels
  • scallops
  • oysters
  • algae.

3. Abalone licence

Generally allows for the farming of Abalone and algae in waters offshore using variable farming structures.

4. Finfish licence

Generally allows for the farming of finfish in waters offshore in sea-cages. The main species are:

  • yellowtail kingfish
  • mulloway
  • snapper.

5. Tuna licence

Generally allows for the farming of Southern Bluefin Tuna and algae in waters offshore in sea-cages.

6. Miscellaneous licence

Authorises aquaculture in waters inshore and offshore for the purposes of:

  • holding empty aquaculture farming structures.
  • temporary holding of stock in structures.
  • tourism.

Applications for aquaculture leases and licences inside and outside a current aquaculture zone must be submitted directly to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Enquiries and application forms

For enquiries about the application process or to request an application form contact (08) 8226 0900 or email pirsa.aquaculture@sa.gov.au

More information

See the marine lease and licence holder responsibilities.

Page Last Reviewed: 21 Mar 2019
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