Fishing during COVID-19

Find out how the fishing industry has been affected by and is being supported through the COVID-19 crisis.

Recreational fishing – is it still okay?

While getting outdoors and going fishing is something we love to do, we must all play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus and keep our communities safe.

  • If you are going recreational fishing, follow social distancing directions, including:
    • A gathering of no more than 10 persons maximum.
    • Ensuring each individual maintains a social distancing space of at least 1.5 metres between themselves and each other individual present in the same place.
    • Do not congregate or gather in groups – pay particular attention around jetties, piers, boat ramps and land-based fishing locations.
    • If social distancing cannot be maintained, please stay at home and minimise social interactions.
  • Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitiser before entering your house, or directly upon your return.

This information may change frequently so for the most up-to-date information always check www.sa.gov.au/covid-19.

Boating – can I take my boat out on the water to go fishing?

You must follow social distancing principles if you decide to go boating.

  • When boating, keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people.
  • If social distancing can't be maintained, please stay at home and minimise social interactions.
  • You must be mindful of hygiene when putting boats in the water at public facilities.
  • Don't congregate or gather in groups larger than 10 people – pay particular attention around jetties, piers and boat ramps and land-based fishing locations.
  • Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitiser before entering your house, or directly upon your return.

This information may change frequently so for the most up-to-date information always check www.sa.gov.au/covid-19.

Restrictions on travel within the state

There are currently no restrictions on travel within South Australia.

Sole traders

If you're a sole trader in the fishing industry, you may be eligible for a JobKeeker payment.

Read more about the financial support available for sole traders.

Commercial fishing relief measures

South Australia’s seafood industry has been significantly affected by restrictions in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, which has resulted in the closure of some markets.

Fee relief for fishing industry

The State Government will provide fee relief to the commercial seafood and charter boat sectors which have been impacted by coronavirus.

For 2020–21:

  • the charter boat sector will have annual fees waived for six months
  • all other commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors will have their fees deferred for six months
  • outstanding 2019–20 fees for all sectors will be deferred (the next round of fees will not be collected until January 2021).

Those set to benefit from the fee relief package include 620 commercial fishers, 324 aquaculture operators and 80 charter boat operators.

The 2020–21 annual fees for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors are approximately $16.2 million, of which the charter boat sector accounts for approximately $360,000.

The fee relief package is part of the State Government’s $1 billion economic stimulus package to save local businesses and jobs, and will be funded from the $650 million Jobs Rescue Package.

Read the media release for more information.

Changes to rock lobster commercial fishing quota

The State Government will implement a temporary rule change for the South Australian Rock Lobster commercial fishing industry allowing the carryover of uncaught quota to help mitigate the market impacts of coronavirus.

Uncaught quota will be able to be carried over to the next season for the Southern Zone fishers and the next two fishing seasons for the Northern Zone fishers. In addition, the winter closure period will be lifted for the Northern Zone Inner Region for 2020.

Read the media release for more information.

Fishing industry support information

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has added a dedicated page to their COVID-19 resources to help fisheries deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new page includes information and support from the Australian, state and territory governments.

See the new page.

Page Last Reviewed: 08 Apr 2020
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