top of page
Avşa Adası horizon_edited_edited.png

NSW Professional Fishing Industry

The Value of the NSW Fishing Industry

The NSW professional fishing industry contributes more than $436 million in revenue annually and accounts for around 3,300 full-time jobs. This includes the fishers, service industries, sales and marketing. Tourism and hospitality also benefit as local wild-caught fish, crabs, lobsters and prawns are menu favourites among tourists and locals.


Protecting the Environment

The professional fishing industry is highly regulated, and fishers must comply with a range of restrictions on when, where and how they can fish and the size of their catch. All fisheries must pass environmental impact assessments. Professional fishers play an active role in monitoring environmental conditions in their local area and often are first to sound the alarm about environmental damage or pollution events. They are actively involved in keeping NSW marine environments clean and healthy and are also a valuable source of knowledge about the environments where they fish.

We take pride in sustainability of the environment to protect our industry for generations to come.

Methods for Catching NSW Seafood

In part, our fisheries are distinguished by the way the seafood is caught. Some of these methods have been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years. A skillset passed on through the generations, these tried and tested methods are overseen by both fishers and Governments alike to ensure the sustainable practice of wild catch harvesting is available for future generations to enjoy.

Common methods include:

  • estuary meshing of fish and prawns

  • line fishing (catch includes Snapper and Kingfish)

  • trapping of Mud crabs, Lobster and fish

  • trawling or purse-seining (catch includes Flathead and Sardines and prawns)

  • ocean (including beach) hauling (catch includes Mullet and Salmon)

  • diving for Abalone and Sea Urchins.

  • hand gathering of pipis and worms

Click here to watch on Ocean Watch videos for each of these methods.

Our Region's Fisheries

Fisheries in NSW are sustainably managed through the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Commonwealth agencies. Our industry is governed by legislation and guidance under each category to ensure sustainable governance including restrictions on catch amounts, size limits, harvest strategies, licencing, assessments and consultation.

As defined by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, commercial fisheries in NSW include:


Abalone are commercially harvested from rocky reefs by divers typically using surface-supplied air or scuba. In practice, most professional abalone fishing takes place on the south coast of NSW, primarily from Jervis Bay to the Victorian border, with most abalone found close to the shore. Abalone harvesting gained prevalence in the 1960s

See the NSW Department of Primary Industry website for more information and fact sheets on Abalone Fishery.

bottom of page