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Terms of Reference for the review of Queensland's fisheries

The independent review of fisheries management in Queensland aims to modernise and simplify fisheries management systems, cut red tape, and maintain and improve environmental sustainability. This will provide the flexibility for industry to prosper, ensure recreational and traditional fishers have reasonable access to the resource, and ensure our lifestyle is maintained.

What is to be achieved?


Fisheries management systems and processes that are simple, robust, responsive and flexible in delivering sustainably managed fisheries for the benefit of Queenslanders.


The review has two main objectives:

  • To develop fisheries systems and processes that:
    • provide for future management to achieve an appropriate balance between environmental and economic use while providing for broader social enjoyment by the community
    • facilitate the settings to support economically viable commercial fishing businesses that provide to the maximum extent possible for market forces to determine industry outcomes within established environmental parameters
    • reduce complexity
    • improve management flexibility
    • take a risk-based approach to fisheries management and regulation
    • establish mechanisms to allow fisheries to be managed at the appropriate level eg. statewide, regionally and/or locally.
  • To develop a new, simplified regulatory framework, including administrative arrangements that meet the challenges and demands of the community and how it expects fisheries to be managed.

In scope

  • All legislative provisions of the Fisheries Act 1994, including appropriate reference to freshwater issues and aquaculture, which is currently under review through a separate process.

Out of scope, but relevant to the review

  • Marine parks, while acknowledging the overall impacts of marine parks on fishing
  • Boating safety
  • Native Title
  • Marine transport issues


  • A policy framework that outlines a path for achieving simplified, transparent, appropriate fisheries management for consideration by Government.

Who will take part in it?


There will be a number of key stakeholders in the review, including:

  • commercial fishers
  • recreational fishers
  • traditional fishers
  • charter and tourism operators
  • seafood marketers
  • conservation sector representatives
  • other relevant participants (e.g. aquaculture, freshwater fishing) as necessary
  • government agencies at local, state and Commonwealth level
  • academics and researchers
  • the Queensland community.

How it will be achieved?

Initially, the Government will commission an appropriate independent specialist to examine fisheries management arrangements across Queensland, in other jurisdictions, establish a suite of principles to guide fisheries management and recommend alternative arrangements for Queensland.

Stakeholder consultation will be undertaken throughout the process. A final suite of recommendations will then be presented to Government for consideration (through the Agriculture Committee of Cabinet).

When it will be achieved?

The timeframe for finalisation of review recommendations is nine months. It is anticipated the recommendations for a future framework that outlines a path for achieving simplified, transparent, appropriate fisheries management will be presented to Government for consideration by December 2014.

NB: In recognition of the need for ongoing management of the fishery, the Government reserves the right to progress urgent initiatives, such as those necessary to maintain export accreditation, during the review.