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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Assessment process

We assess marine-related aquaculture licence and lease applications under principles set out in Administrative Guideline No. 1, Assessment of Applications for Authorisations for Aquaculture and Pearling in Coastal Waters of Western Australia.

Our aquaculture branch manager is able to approve applications for freehold (private) land where there is no connection with, or discharge to, the marine environment.

Lease applications are also subject to the processes outlined in Administrative Guideline No. 2, Principles for Grant and Management of Aquaculture Leases in Coastal Waters of Western Australia.

Requirements for the applications

Additional Information Sheets

When applying for an aquaculture licence, or the variation of an existing licence, we require certain information to assist with the assessment of these applications. Please refer to the following additional information sheets to familiarise yourself with the requirements:

Proposals in coastal waters or areas vested in the Minister for Fisheries are required to be accompanied by an application for an aquaculture lease as well as the relevant additional information sheet and an Aquaculture Development Plan.

When applying for an exemption, we require certain information to assist with the assessment of such an application. Please refer to the following additional information sheets to familiarise yourself with the requirements:

Exemption applications are assessed internally.

Navigational safety

When assessing applications over marine areas, we consult with the Department of Transport to determine any navigational marking and lighting requirements that may be required.

The level of marking and lighting required depends on the activities taking place as well as the location of a proposed or existing site.

Applications over marine areas are required to be accompanied by a completed Marking and Lighting Guidance Statement.

Environmental management

A key part of our role is to ensure environmental management and regulation of the industry. Issues around biosecurity are an important consideration, to protect biodiversity and prevent the spread of aquatic pests and diseases.

Unless exempt, applicants must develop Management and Environmental Monitoring Plans (MEMPs) in support of their licence applications. Our Aquaculture MEMP guidance statement​ and Aquaculture MEMP document template provide information in relation to developing a MEMP. Depending on the scale and complexity of the operation, applicants may need to engage a consultant to assist with developing a MEMP.

Translocation of live fish

Written approval from the CEO is required if your proposal involves the translocation of non-native fish:

  • to areas outside the historic range of the species;
  • to areas which contain genetically distinct populations of the species; or
  • from an area where a reportable disease is known to occur.

In some cases, you may also need a translocation assessment.

EPA referral

Aquaculture proposals may be referred to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s (DWER’s) Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for assessment.

A referral and the subsequent decision by the EPA, regarding assessment of a proposal, depend on a number of considerations of significance including: the location and scale of the proposed aquaculture activity.

The EPA’s Statement of Environmental Principles, Factors and Objectives can be found here.

Further information

For more information email

Last modified: 31/10/2023 9:58 AM

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