Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)

Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)

CFA is the peak body representing the collective rights, responsibilities and interests of diverse commercial fishing industries in the Commonwealth managed waters of Australia.


CFA's mission and vision is to have 'Recognised leadership in sustainable and profitable wild capture fisheries' and to 'Enhance and promote the Commonwealth wild capture fisheries and our industry'.


The CFA is a politically independent professional association. Its membership is across all facets of the wild catch fishing sector and it plays a key role within the Australian community as a major contributor to the formulation of effective and responsible fisheries policies.


Founded in 2002, the CFA goals are to;

  • Enhance the environmental sustainability of our fisheries;
  • Enhance the economic value, benefits to society, and profitability of our industry;
  • Strengthen security of access to our fisheries;
  • Facilitate research, development and extension of programs to improve the sustainability and profitability of our fisheries and industry;
  • Reduce regulatory complexity and costs on our industry; and,
  • Foster pride within our industry for our achievements, our role in society, and our care for the marine environment we live and work in.


The practical significance of CFA’s involvement in fisheries management and research development processes is a long term improvement to the efficiency, productivity and profitability of Australia’s wild catch fisheries. This leads to a better managed and strengthened wild catch fishery and operating environment, for CFA’s members.    

CFA is structured around three priority pillars that provides the framework for consultation, these being;

  1. Security of Access;
  2. Efficient regulation; and,
  3. A competitive industry.


Within these three key pillars, CFA have addressed  issues on marine protected areas and their impacts on the fishing industry, resource sharing with other jurisdictions under the Offshore Constitutional Settlement agreement, resource sharing with the recreational fishing sector, policy development such as the Harvest Strategy and By Catch policy.


CFA have also been influential and successfully achieved;

  1. a Government exemption for the fishing industry from the Carbon Tax;
  2. a Government commitment to maintain the fuel tax credit scheme for the fishing industry; 
  3. Progressed an initiative with PriceWaterhouse Coopers to allow industry to claim their research and development levies;
  4. Provided leadership and coordination of an industry response and highlighted to Government the detrimental impacts from the Commonwealth Marine Bioregional Planning process. CFA was successful in obtaining an election commitment from the Coalition to suspend and review the marine bioregional process;
  5. a commitment from Government to a Productivity Commission inquiry on regulatory burden; and,
  6. a Government grant to assist exporters with a national residue survey.


These are only but a few of the many achievements CFA have accomplished, through pursuing and liaising Government on our members behalf.


CFA currently comprises membership covering over 90% of Commonwealth fishery-specific industry Associations.  In addition a number of Commonwealth fishers have chosen to join as individual members where they have no fishery-specific Association to represent them.  Some members have also contributed significantly to CFA via Corporate membership which is additional to their continued membership via fishery-specific associations. CFA membership is currently at 4 Corporate members, 8 Associations and 8 individual members.


The opportunity exists for CFA to represent industry to Government and other stakeholders, as there is no other Commonwealth body that offers these networks and support. While a number of more regionally based, sector specific bodies are present, it is CFA that Government seek to consult with.