Marine licence holder responsibilities

1. Guarantee/Indemnity

All lease holders must give the Minister a bank guarantee of $10,000. The bank guarantee must be held by the lease holder and include the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development as an interested party. The leased site must be identified by its lease number.

No bank guarantee is needed if the lease holder is a member of an indemnity scheme approved by the Minister.

Leases that have no bank guarantee or indemnity fund may be cancelled.

The bank guarantee funds the removal of structures and other site rehabilitation that may be required during or after the lease.

2. Insurance

Lease holders must have public liability insurance in the amount of $10 million. Copies of the insurance must be given to the Minister. The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) Fisheries and Aquaculture will do regular audits to make sure licence holders have insurance.

Failure to have insurance may result in a lease being cancelled.

3. Rehabilitation site inspection

Lease holders may be required to rehabilitate a site to the Minister’s satisfaction. The lease holder pays for rehabilitation.

Fisheries Compliance Officers will inspect the site approximately 30 days after a lease holder has been instructed to clean up an aquaculture site.

The inspection will check that all:

  • stock
  • equipment
  • waste

has been removed.

4. Payment of fees

All invoices must be paid 30 days from when they are issued unless the Minister has approved instalment options for payment.

There are 4 instalment options for annual lease or licence fees if it covers a 12 month period:

  • 30 days from the date of the invoice
  • 120 days from the date of the invoice
  • 210 days from the date of the invoice
  • 300 days from the date of the invoice.

Other instalment options are given for annual fees covering less than 12 months.
See the lease and licence:

  • annual fees
  • application fees.

5. Navigation marking requirements

Navigational marks must be installed if any structures are on the lease site.
The outer boundaries must have navigational marks if:

  • there are no immediately joining leases
  • it is the end lease of 2 or more immediately joining leases.

Lease and licence holders should refer to the conditions in their lease and licence.

6. Strategies

All marine based aquaculture must have strategies approved by the Minister to minimise the risk of aquaculture stock:

  • escaping
  • interacting with seabirds
  • interacting with marine vertebrates.

Strategies must be written and sent to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture.

All marine licence holders must report any protected animals confined or entangled in any equipment used with the aquaculture project. All significant cases of stock escaping must be reported to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Failure to:

  • submit a strategy
  • follow a strategy
  • report interactions or escapes

may result in a penalty of up to $5000.

7. Moving stock within and outside South Australia

Aquaculture stock that is:

  • hatchery reared
  • wild caught

outside of South Australia must not enter South Australia unless prior approval is given by the Minister.

There are also requirements for some species being moved within South Australia.

Check with PIRSA before obtaining stock to make sure the correct protocols are taken to minimise risk of disease.

8. Use of chemicals

Aquaculture licence holders are not permitted to use hormones or veterinary chemicals on aquaculture sites except:

Chemicals must be used according to the permit or label instructions. Following instructions will make sure the environmental and food safety assessments made by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority are valid for the specific use.

Failure to comply may result in a penalty of up to $5000.

9. Production returns

It is mandatory that marine aquaculture licence holders submit a production return for each financial year by 31 August every year under regulation 14 of the Aquaculture Regulations 2005. Production returns will be sent to all licence holders in July each year.

Production returns must be completed and returned to PIRSA Fishery and Aquaculture even if there has been no activity on the licensed site. All data is confidential.

Information in production returns is used to study the economic performance and ecological sustainability of the industry.

Fines and penalties may occur for failing to submit a production return.

10. Environmental Monitoring Program

Aquaculture licence holders must submit and Environmental Monitoring Program Report to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture. Blank reports will be sent to all licence holders. Licence holders complete the blank reports and return them to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The blank reports have been designed to collect information about:

  • water discharge and quality
  • species farmed
  • feed inputs
  • disease incidents
  • chemical use.

Reports must be returned during set reporting periods.

Reporting periods are:

  • 1 July to 30 June for the following licences:
    • Intertidal shellfish
    • Subtidal shellfish
    • Land-based aquaculture
  • Reports are due 31 August.
  • 1 December to 30 November for these licences:
    • Finfish
    • Tuna
  • Reports are due 31 January.

Information from the reports is used to regulate the aquaculture industry and protect the environment. All reports must be returned by their due date so data from all licence holders can be used.

Fines and penalties may occur for failing to complete and return an Environmental Monitoring Program report.

Email: if you need more information about the programs.

11. Referral to other agencies

You may be required to seek approvals from other local and state governments before receiving an aquaculture licence.

This may include:

  • Development Assessment Commission (DAC).
  • The Australian Government Department of the Environment if the activity will have, or is likely to have a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance.
Page Last Reviewed: 25 Aug 2017
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