Fish processors

A fish processor is any persons who:

  • processes
  • stores
  • transports
  • deals

with fish or other aquatic resources for a commercial purpose.

Fish processing activities include:

  • scaling
  • gilling
  • gutting
  • filleting
  • freezing
  • chilling
  • packing
  • any other activity involved in preparing fish for sale.

Registering as a fish processor

Anyone processing fish or aquatic resources from South Australian commercial fishers or aquaculture farmers must be registered as a fish processor with Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

Commercial fishers and aquaculture farmers processing their own products for sale to recipients:

  • other than fish processors
  • to the general public, in the case of non-quota species

must also be registered with PIRSA.

Person who only purchase fish or aquatic resources from registered fish processors or wholesalers are not required to register as fish processors.

A fish processor (restricted) is not permitted to sell product to a fish processor (full).

Types of fish processor

PIRSA offers 2 types of fish processor registrations.

1. Fish processor registration (full)

A licenced fish processor (full) may buy product from:

  • a licenced aquaculture authority holder
  • a licenced commercial fisher
  • a registered fish processor
  • a fish wholesaler.

There are no restrictions on who you can sell the product to.

An additional fee must be paid to process abalone, prawn, or rock lobster direct from the commercial fisher. Phone PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Licencing Services on (08) 8204 1370 to organise a payment.

2. Fish processor registration (restricted)

Fish processor registration (restricted) is only available to persons who hold a commercial fishing or aquaculture licence.

Licenced fish processors (restricted) may only:

  • purchase from your own fishing or aquaculture licence
  • sell your product to a person who is not a registered fish processor and sells the product as a meal or part of a meal directly to the public.

Applying for registration

Apply for registration using the forms below:

Phone PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture on (08) 8207 5332 if you would like a registration form to be sent to you.


Registrations expire at the end of each financial year. Registration holders are sent out registration forms at the end of the financial year including invoices for payment. If you do not want to renew your registration you can inform Fisheries and Aquaculture in writing at the date of renewal.


Registration renewal fees must be paid each financial year. Your registration may not be renewed if there are any outstanding amounts owing from the previous financial year.

Payments can be made:

  • up-front
  • in a lump sum
  • in quarterly installments.

Registering vehicles and premises

Processors must nominate all:

  • premises
  • vessels
  • vehicles

that will be used as part of processing operation.

Use the Application to add or remove premises, vehicles, or boats (PDF 315.7 KB).

Processor rules

Written records

All fish processors are required by legislation to keep accurate written records of all fish or aquatic resources received. This includes fish processors not required to be registered. There are penalties for not complying with requirements to keep written records written in the Fisheries Management (Fish Processors) Regulations 2017.

Size limits

Processors need to be aware of size limits that apply to their operation. Fish processors must check that no undersize fish are accepted. Any undersize fish must not be sold and must be disposed of appropriately.

View fish processor size limit rules


The fish processor sector is managed under the:


View the Ministerial determinations.


PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, Leasing and Licensing
Office hours: 8.45 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday
Phone: (08) 8207 5332
Fax: (08) 8207 5331

Page Last Reviewed: 28 Jul 2017
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