Sardine fishery

The South Australian sardine fishery targets the Australian Sardine. The sardine fishery is a component of the marine scalefish fishery.

The area of the fishery includes all South Australian waters out to the 200 nautical mile Australian Exclusive Economic Zone.


There are no new licences available for the marine scalefish fishery.


Commercial licence fees must be paid each financial year. Invoices are issued annually in early June.

Payments can be made:

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


Quota entitlements can be transferred from one licence holder to another. Transfers are temporary.

See the Application to transfer sardine quota form (PDF 267.6 KB) for more details.

Boat registration and de-registration

All boats used for commercial fishing must be registered.

Use the Application to vary a boat registration endorsement form (PDF 266.4 KB) to register or de-register a boat.

Master registration

All persons who will act as master of the boat must be registered to the licence.

See the Application to change registration of a master/s (PDF 385.8 KB) for more information.

Vessel Monitoring System

All marine scalefish fishery licence holders with sardine net entitlements are required to have an operational vessel monitoring system (VMS) fitted to their boat.

More information about VMS.

Sardine fishery management

Management plan:

Stock assessment reports:

Economic indicator reports:

Department of Environment

The Commonwealth Department of the Environment requires that all commercial fisheries that export product be assessed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Product from the Sardine Fishery is currently approved for export.

For more information, go to the South Australian fisheries page on the Department of the Environment website.


See the closures page.

Rules and regulations

The Sardine Fishery is regulated under:

See the Commercial Sardine Fishery User Guide (PDF 1.2 MB) for more information on:

  • permitted species
  • size limits
  • commercial limits
  • gear rules
  • closures
  • licence transfers
  • demerit points.


View the Ministerial determinations.


Steve Shanks
Fishery Manager
Phone: (08) 8429 0197

South Australian Sardine Industry Association
Paul Watson, Executive Officer
Phone: 0429 830 776 

Page Last Reviewed: 19 Jun 2019
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