On this page

    AFMA bases its fisheries management decisions on the best available information. Like biological information, economic information is important for fisheries management. Quota price is one piece of economic information among others that will help inform management decisions and pursue AFMA’s objective of maximising the net economic returns for the Australian community from the management of Australian (Commonwealth) fisheries.

    • Understanding quota prices (lease and permanent transfer) along with other key costs (fuel) and revenue (fish) prices can assist us to understand the profitability and cost structure in a fishery and can be used to inform bio-economic management models.
    • Information on the value of quota Statutory Fishing Rights (SFRs), a major asset of the fishing industry, can assist in contextualising the importance of the sector.
    • Quota prices may also assist us to understand factors that drive behaviour (for example a high lease price that is marginally less than the fish sale price may drive discarding fishers who do not own quota for the species).
    • Accurate quota prices will also send signals to policy makers about the economic and bio-ecological health of a fishery and allow, for example, the creation of economic indicators which help to monitor the impacts of management decisions.

    Since July 2017, concession holder have been required to report the prices of all traded quota and gear SFRs to AFMA with summary lease price data publicly available from 2019–20 onwards (available below). Publishing (in summary form) quota price information can improve flexibility and efficiency of the quota market and benefit operators. Clear and transparent price signals can make trading easier and provide buyers and sellers more confidence in the market.

    AFMA takes the handling of sensitive information very seriously. To protect commercial and sensitive information, trade data is only publicly available in aggregated (summary) form. SFR prices of single trades, or where less than five clients are involved in the trading in or out of a single species within a season, are not publicly available. Furthermore, data prior to 1 July 2019 during the schemes introductory phase and data for permanent transfers are not published due to the limited data quality.

    In the future, we may also collect price information for other concession types. We will notify those affected of any changes prior to them occurring.


    Quota and gear SFR lease price data

    Quota price data is self-reported by concession holders. The data has been ‘cleaned’ and aggregated to reduce the presence of erroneous values and to protect commercially sensitive information. 

    The following values have been removed from the data sets:

    • Zero-dollar values, or where no value was reported
    • Very (unrealistically) small values – defined as less than $0.05* per kg
    • Very (unrealistically) high values – defined as greater than $20 per kg 
    • Species where less than five entities were involved in leasing out of the quota
    • Species where less than five entities were involved in the leasing in of the quota

    * For the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) values less than $0.05 per kg were not removed and a value of greater than $10 per kg has been used for “Very (unrealistically) high values” due to the overall lower value of the quota per kg in this fishery.

    The quota price data provided by AFMA is raw (unprocessed) data and may contain errors or be incomplete. AFMA makes no warranty or representation that the data is accurate or complete. Those who choose to use this data do so at their own risk and AFMA assumes no liability for any errors or omissions in the data provided, or for any decision by a person who chooses to rely on the data.


    SFR price information FAQs

    More information can be found in the FAQ’s below. If you have any enquiries regarding this matter, please contact licensing by phone at 1300 723 621 or by email at licensing@afma.gov.au.

    How to guide Leasing SFRs to another client and reporting the trading price


    How to guide Transferring SFRs to another client and reporting the trading price

    AFMA may use the SFR price data, along with other economic data, for a wide range of economic analyses. AFMA will monitor and analyse the long-term movement of lease/transfer quota prices, fuel costs, fish prices and exchange rates, and feed into management decision process. For example:

    1. The comprehensive SFR data can provide AFMA with a better understanding of the SFR market and underlying economics of fisheries. This can be used to inform fisheries management actions, if and when necessary.
    2. Long term trends of SFR price data can allow AFMA to identify strengths and weaknesses of the fishery. It is expected that through analyses of these data over time, modelling would anticipate the amount of influence that different fisheries management decisions can have on the quota prices and thus economics of fisheries.
    3. The lease value indicates expected current profitability and the permanent transfer value indicates expected future profitability in the fishery. Thus the quota price can be an important short and long term performance indicator of:
      • Economic and bio-ecological health of a fishery; and
      • Value of the fishing industry.
    4. In the future (after 1 July 2019), interested buyers and sellers of SFRs may be able to use the aggregated price data to make informed decisions. This can lead to fairer prices for SFRs.

    AFMA consistently strives to manage Commonwealth fisheries better and achieve its objectives including maximising the net economic returns to the Australian community from the management of Australian fisheries. To this end, in addition to informing fisheries management decisions, collecting and publishing (in aggregate form) SFR transaction price data is designed to make the SFR trading market more transparent, efficient and reduce uncertainty and therefore result in fairer prices for SFRs.

    AFMA will achieve in-depth insights into SFR price movements over time and better understand the profitability; the cost structure differences between fishers who own versus those who lease SFRs; and the factors that drive fishers’ behaviour. For example, AFMA has been receiving anecdotal reports that in some cases high quota prices (e.g. for flathead) are driving discarding of the key commercial fish species. AFMA will be able to investigate and verify what prices SFRs are trading for and more clearly understand the drivers of fisher behaviour.

    The ABARES Australian fisheries economic indicators reports replaced the former Australian fisheries survey reports. These reports are based on voluntary surveys of selected samples of one or two specific fisheries in each year and usually has a 2 years lag between the time of survey and publication of the results.

    All concession holders are now required to report SFR transaction prices of all species on the transfer form (in GoFish or on the paper form) as and when the transactions happen. These SFR prices are real time and comprehensive, unlike ABARES fisheries economic data that are anecdotal, based on sample survey estimates and published with a significant time lag. The reported SFR trade price data collected by AFMA may also assist ABARES in its analyses.

     The entity (person/company) selling quota or gear SRFs must enter the price of SFRs that are being leased or permanently transferred.

    Accurate information about the prices of leased or permanently transferred quota and gear SFRs.

    The price must be entered on the paper or electronic version of the fishery attachment transfer forms.

    Related entities are individuals or organisations that are related to another organisation through some type of control or ownership, such as directorship. You are required to report if the transfer was between related entities.

    Yes, you should report the total price paid to you (the entity transferring the SFRs) by the buyer including any brokerage.

    Accurate price estimates may be provided where the actual value of individual quota and/or gear SFR type(s) is not known, for example:

    • An SFR package is transferred with an agreed price for the package, but not separate prices for each individual type of quota or gear.
    • A profit sharing arrangement is entered into and no money is exchanged for the quota (for example, where the SFRs were transferred without payment on the agreement that both parties would share part of the revenue or profit from the sale of fish).
    • The SFRs were a gift or loan.
    • You swapped SFRs for SFRs of another species (or other products and/or services).
    • Other situations where no money is exchanged.

    In all of these situations the seller must accurately estimate prices for each individual quota SFR type and record that the prices are estimates in the appropriate place on the form.

    Did you find what you were looking for?
    Page last updated: 12/08/2023