Barramundi fishery and licences

The annual commercial barramundi fishing season in the Northern Territory (NT) is from 1 February to 30 September.

You must have a licence to commercially fish for barramundi in the NT.


The fishery is restricted to 14 licences which can be bought, sold and leased. All are currently allocated to fishers.

Read more about buying, selling or leasing a commercial licence.

Fishing area

Commercial fishing for barramundi is allowed from the high water mark to three nautical miles seaward of the low water mark.

The fishing area is restricted to waters seaward from the coast, river mouths and legislated closed lines.

Commercial fishers must not fish within any of the following areas:

  • between the Little Finnis River and the Wildman River, including Bynoe Harbour, Darwin Harbour and Shoal Bay
  • and Kakadu National Park

Commercial barramundi fishers may not fish or anchor within the Dugong Protection Area in the south-western Gulf of Carpentaria.

Read the Barramundi Fishery Management Plan 1998 for details of closure lines and defines the inland boundary of the fishery.

Fishing method

Commercial operators fish over tidal mud flats and inside a restricted number of rivers using monofilament gill nets.

Nets are set and retrieved from dinghies and fish are processed onboard motherships.

Each licence is allowed a maximum of 1000m of gill net and spare net may be stored on board vessels.


Barramundi and king threadfin are the primary species taken in the barramundi fishery.

Barramundi are generally large enough at three years of age to be caught in a 150mm gill net, and fishers target barramundi that are usually three to eight years old.

A number of byproduct species are also taken which commonly include black jewfish, blacktip shark, blue threadfin and queenfish.

Vessel limits restrict the take of golden snapper, black jewfish and shark.

Last updated: 01 March 2019

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