Fishing on Aboriginal land

You don't need a recreational fishing licence in the Northern Territory (NT), but a large portion of the NT's intertidal waters lie over Aboriginal land.

Recreational fishers should respect and recognise the cultural importance to traditional owners of these waters.

Access to waters overlying Aboriginal land

In 2008, the High Court of Australia ruled that permission was needed to enter intertidal waters overlying Aboriginal land.

The intertidal zone is the area that is above water at low tide and underwater at high tide.

Changes to fishing rules

On 1 March 2021, the Northern Land Council introduced changes to the fishing rules.

Recreational fishers must register to access some waters overlying Aboriginal land.

Discussions are continuing around long-term access agreements.

You don't need to register to fish in areas where long-term access agreements have already been reached.

For more information, go to the Northern Land Council website.

More information

Find out about fishing in the following regions:

Read more about rules and applying for a permit for fishing on Aboriginal land.


Last updated: 17 March 2021

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