Apply for a commercial aquaculture licence

A commercial aquaculture licence is for large scale commercial facilities with a total water volume of more than 10,000 litres. Read about aquaculture in the NT for information about the different types of licence.


To apply for a licence you have to do all of the following:

  1. Identify the site and right to use.
  2. Obtain other approvals.
  3. Prepare a notice of intent.
  4. Complete and submit a licence application.

NT Fisheries will send your application to the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) for an environmental assessment as part of the approval process.

You  should discuss your proposal with NT Fisheries before you start to apply for a licence.

Identify the site and right to use

You will need to identify the site of your proposed aquaculture farm and provide proof that you have permission to use the site.

It is easier to get a licence on land which is privately owned or leased.

You may need a Crown lease to farm in areas of the sea in the NT.

Find out how to apply for a Crown lease.

Other approvals

You may need to apply for other government approvals or permits to start your aquaculture farm.

These may include any of the following:

You will need to show that you have all the approvals or permits needed.

This must include photocopies of all permits, licences and other approvals.

If you don’t need any other approvals or permits, get a written statement from the relevant government agencies saying so.

Notice of intent

Once you have a site and the right to use the land or sea together with other approvals, you can prepare a notice of intent for an aquaculture licence

Your notice of intent must have all the information that NT Fisheries will need to decide whether or not to grant you a licence.

You should talk to NT Fisheries before starting your notice of intent to make sure you have all the information you need. Contact the senior licensing officer on (08) 8999 2370.

Read more about preparing a notice of intent.

Complete and submit an application

When you have finalised your notice of intent you must complete the following application form:

The application can be in the name of a company, partnership or an individual.

If the licence is for an individual or a partnership complete the application on the top left hand side.

If the application is in a company name then complete the top right hand side of the application.

When finalising your application you must ensure:

  • the aquaculture location (the location of the operation) is included
  • the species to be farmed is listed
  • proof of identity is included: 
    • for an individual this is a copy of a drivers licence or passport
    • for a partnership, documentation to prove that the partnership exists along with the individual proof of identity for each partner will be required
    • for a company this is the extract from Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
  • the form is signed by all applicants
  • the finalised notice of intent or aquaculture licence proposal is included plus other permits and approvals
  • you must include your licence fee with the application.

Licence fee

The fee for the commercial aquaculture licence is $1535 ($640 plus NTSC levy).

How to submit your application

You can submit your application to Fisheries Licensing by email, mail or in person:


Fisheries Licensing
Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries
GPO Box 3000
Darwin NT 0801


Fisheries Licensing
Goff Letts Building 
Berrimah Farm
Makagon Road

Environmental assessment and approval

NT Fisheries will send your application to the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA).

The NT EPA will look at your notice of intent or licence proposal and tell you what level of environmental assessment is needed.

Large-scale aquaculture developments usually need an environmental impact statement.

To find out more go to the environmental assessments page at the NT EPA website.

Once you have all approvals and consents, and your proposal has passed environmental assessment, your aquaculture licence can be issued.


You can contact the senior licensing officer by calling (08) 8999 2370 for assistance with your application.

Last updated: 27 September 2016

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