Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence

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    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.

    The licence can have entries authorising fishing in for one or more of the following fisheries:

    • Beche-de-mer fishery (BD)
    • Crab fishery (CB)
    • Tropical rock lobster fishery (CR)
    • Reef line fishery (LN)
    • Spanish mackerel fishery (MK)
    • Pearl shell fishery (PL)
    • Trochus fishery (TR)

    Any boat nominated to the licence must be owned by the licence. If the licence authorises the use of a tender boat, the tender boats must always operate in association with the primary boat listed on the licence.

    Maximum boat lengths apply for all new licences as follows:

    • Beche-de-mer fishery: maximum of 7 m
    • Crab fishery: maximum of 14 m
    • All other fisheries: maximum of 20 m

    Apply for a Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence

    To apply for a Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence, you must lodge an application form.

    If this is your first application for a licence, you must also be recognised as a Traditional Inhabitant by lodging a Traditional Inhabitant Identification Form (PDF, 431 KB).

    The identification form must be completed by the councillor of a relevant community and the mayor of the same council. Relevant communities are those that are represented by the following councils:

    Renew a Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licences

    Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licences expire after 12 months.

    Renewal applications are sent to licence holders approximately six to eight weeks before the licence's expiry date. Licence holders must renew their licence no later than three months after expiry.

    If you need to renew a licence, but have not received your renewal application, contact AFMA on 1300 723 621.

    Add fishery entries to a Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence

    A Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence specifies which fisheries (entries or symbols) it can be used in within the Torres Strait. You can lodge an application to add fishery entries to an existing community fishing licence.

    Nominate a new boat to a Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licence

    If you want to use a different boat than the one recorded on your existing licence, you will need to lodge an application.

    The licence holder must own the new boat and the boat cannot exceed the maximum length for the fisheries that it has entries for. You cannot use the new boat until your application has been processed and the new boat is recorded on the licence.

    Transfer a community fishing licence

    You can transfer your licence to another Traditional Inhabitant.

    The new licence holder must complete a Traditional Inhabitant Identification Form (PDF, 431 KB) if they have not done so previously and must be the owner of any boat on the licence. You may need to nominate a different boat to the licence to ensure this.

    If there is a carrier licence associated with the same boat, you must also transfer the carrier licence to the new licence holder. 

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    Page last updated: 29/03/2023