The licencing section of the PZJA website contains information about Torres Strait commercial fishing licences and other relevant licence types. Including information on how to apply for new licences, renew a licence, change the details of existing licences, and transfer licences.

The licences are for use in commercial fisheries in the Australian area of the Torres Strait Protected Zones (TSPZ). 

These fisheries are managed under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 by the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA). The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) issues licences for these fisheries on behalf of the PZJA.

Traditional Inhabitants can enter any Torres Strait commercial fishery, except the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery, by obtaining a Traditional Inhabitant Boat (TIB) licence. A Traditional Inhabitant entering the Prawn Fishery must buy an existing licence with a prawn entry.

Non-traditional inhabitants who want to enter a Torres Strait commercial fishery must buy an existing licence.

All Torres Strait commercial licensing enquiries should be directed to AFMA on 1300 723 621.

Download the Guide to Licensing Arrangements in the Torres Strait.


Torres Strait fishery entries

Fishing and carrier licences have entries, also known as symbols, which detail what fisheries the Licence is issued for. The entries for the Torres Strait commercial fisheries are:

Symbol Description
BD Beche-de-mer fishery
CB Crab fishery
CR Tropical rock lobster fishery
LN Reef line fishery
MK Spanish mackerel fishery
PL Pearl shell fishery
PR Prawn fishery
TR Trochus fishery


Maps of these fishery areas and management arrangements can be found on the fisheries page

To find information on how to apply for new licences, renew a licence, change the details of existing licences, and transfer licences click on the relevant licence below.

Licenses and Permits

Torres Strait Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence

Torres Strait Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licences can only be held by Traditional Inhabitants. All crew on a boat nominated to a traditional inhabitant boat licence must be Traditional Inhabitants.

Torres Strait Fishing Boat Licence

Torres Strait Fishing Boat Licences (also known as TVH licences) allow commercial fishing in some fisheries.

Sunset Fishing Licence

Access to the Reef Line Fishery and Spanish Mackerel Fishery is reserved for Traditional Inhabitants. However, Sunset Licences allow non-traditional inhabitants to fish in these fisheries while there is capacity in the fishery to do so.

Torres Strait Master Fisherman's Licence

If you hold Fishing Boat Licences or Sunset Fishing Licences, there must be at least one person on each nominated boat (including tender boats) who holds a Master Fisherman’s Licence. Master Fisherman’s Licences are not required if you hold a Traditional Inhabitant Licence.

Carrier Boat Licences

Depending on how your boat will be operating with other boats, you may need a carrier (or processer-carrier) licence.

Fish Receiver Licences

If you are a fishing licence holder, except in the Prawn Fishery, you must land all commercial catch to the holder of a Fish Receiver Licence. You must provide your name and fishing licence details to the Fish Receiver.


Quota is another name for fishing capacity, which can be granted by the PZJA as ‘units of fishing capacity.’ These units can translate to either a catch or use (fishing effort) entitlement, depending on the fishery.

Torres Strait Licence Register

The Torres Strait licence register includes information about licences, including the fishery entries and licence holders. It improves accountability and helps industry to comply with fisheries regulations.

Scientific and Development Permits

Scientific permits are issued to allow for scientific research by way of fishing in an area of Australian jurisdiction. Development permits are issued to allow for trials by way of fishing in an area of Australian jurisdiction.

Licensing Forms

Application forms and fishing fees for Torres Strait commercial fishing.

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