Fishing for tourism - Charter boat diversification program

The ‘Fishing for tourism’ – Charter boat diversification program was established in late 2019 to:

  • expand and strengthen the charter boat sector by co-investing in projects to enhance charter boat operators’ offering as a tourism experience
  • broaden tourism offerings that will be attractive to the domestic and international tourism and visitor market
  • position the sector for strong future growth in the nature-based tourism sector.

Through the ‘Fishing for Tourism’ program, the State Government is committing $500,000 to support diversification in the charter boat sector.

Successful Round 1 Grant Applicants

A range projects were successful in gaining funding under Round 1 of the program:

  • Whyalla Fishing Charters: $7,770 – development of marketing and advertising material (logo, business card, banners, signage), remodelling of vessel - installing hard top roof and resurfacing of floor.
  • Reel Screamer Fishing: $25,000 – purchase of new vessel.
  • Kangaroo Is Fishing Adventures: $19,353 – upgrade of upholstery, installation of non-slip surface, website redesign.
  • Calypso Star Charter Pty Ltd: $25,000 – purchase HiAce shuttle tour van.
  • Ceduna Boat Charter: $25,000 – purchase and installation of 200 hp four-outboard motors.
  • Emu Bay Fishing Charters: $9,958 – Installation of toilets, canopy, website development, marketing and advertising material.
  • Reef Encounters Fishing Charters: $12,559 – marketing and advertising materials, website development, drone, nonslip application to floor, binoculars, table and refreshment services, electric outboard motor.
  • Balgowan Fishing Charters: $17,507 – modification of access door, install private toilet, survey modification.
  • Get Hooked Fishing Charters: $25,000 – install toilet, shading, seating, replace engines with low emission engines, redesign of website.
  • Pirate Sea Charters: $22,250 – recover seats, resurvey vessel, fire suppression system, painting of vessel, New Canopy, install toilet, seating, underwater camera.
  • Port MacDonnell Fishing Charters: $25,000 - building accommodation at Eight Mile Creek.

An additional funding round has now been made available.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants can seek grants from $2,000 to $25,000.

Eligible projects include:

  • improvement to vessel amenities for clients (e.g. toilet [fully private], fridge, catering equipment, seating, resting furniture, shelter)
  • improvement in vessel accessibility (e.g. disability, elderly (e.g. non-slip))
  • improvement to marketing, promotions (e.g. website) and booking management systems (Pre-experience functionality and professional advice)
  • equipment that will provide capacity to deliver new customer experiences
  • upgrade of boat survey and associated boat alterations
  • boat alterations to support tag and release science work
  • boat alterations to support new customer experiences
  • alterations to enable the targeting of multiple species
  • business plans that demonstrate business diversification to build resilience.

Retrospective funding, where projects have been completed or have commenced since 1 September 2020 and prior to the application being approved by the Minister, may be provided if the application is assessed to meet the criteria in the guidelines.

However, commencing projects prior to applications being approved by the Minister is undertaken at your own risk. It is not guaranteed that your project will be funded.

  • Applicants who were successful in Round 1 of this offer are not eligible to apply under Round 2. However, applicants from Round 1 who were not successful in gaining funding can reapply.
  • Applications are limited to active Charter Licence Holders. An “active” licence holder must demonstrate fishing activity through the submission of SARDI South Australian Charter Fishery Logbook returns, with fishing activity during 2018 and/or 2019 (up to 28 September 2020, the date new snapper management arrangements were announced).

Applicants must also provide a minimum 1:1 funding co-contribution towards the total financial cost of their project.

Assessment criteria

Projects will be assessed on their ability to address one or more of the criteria below:

  • Caters for a more diverse customer base:
    • improves accessibility – for example the disabled, elderly, children etc.
    • improves amenity – for example for the comfort of passengers such as women and children
  • Improves the business’ pre-experience functionality:
    • easy to find tourism offerings – for example marketing materials, website improvements
    • improved booking systems – for example online booking and payment systems
  • Broadens the business’ tourism offering:
    • expands the offering beyond current fishing charter experience – for example, enabling catering on boat, refreshments on board, including history of area/region within fishing charter offering
    • ability to navigate wider ocean conditions or support other tourism offerings through upgrade of boat survey and associated boat alterations
  • Demonstrates the business’ plan to diversify:
    • assist with the development of a business plan

How to apply

Dates for applications

Applications will be open from Monday 1 March 2021.


Regions SA

More information

Page Last Reviewed: 12 Feb 2021
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