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Commercial uses

Published 27 February 2023

Commercial vessels

A commercial vessel is any vessel used in connection with any business or commercial activity, principally for carrying passengers or cargo for hire or reward, or providing a service to vessels for reward.

There are approximately 9000 commercial vessels registered in NSW, including:

  • passenger boats
  • houseboats
  • party boats
  • oyster punts
  • work boats
  • fishing boats
  • tourist boats.

Roads and Maritime Services administers moorings for commercial vessels at more than 4500 sites throughout the state.

On 1 July 2013, a new national system for commercial vessel safety began. There is now one national law and one national regulator, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, for all domestic commercial vessels. The new national system will simplify requirements for industry and provide opportunities for growth.

Roads and Maritime Services manages 68 wharves on Sydney Harbour. Transport for NSW has proposed new consistent and transparent access arrangements at these wharves for commercial vessel operators seeking to provide commuter ferry services. A final Wharf Access Policy is expected to be finalised shortly.

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Commercial fishing

The commercial fishing industry includes commercial fishers, wholesalers, processors and retailers that work together with the restaurant and catering industry to supply fresh seafood to communities across NSW, as well as national and international markets.

The seafood industry, which includes aquaculture and oyster farmers is a vibrant industry which generates over half a billion dollars of economic activity each year, employing more than 4000 people. Of this, the wild harvest commercial fishing managed under NSW jurisdiction is worth more than $90 million dollars at first point of sale.

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Ports and shipping

In 2010/11 NSW ports handled 179 million tonnes of freight or 44% of the total NSW freight task.

Leasing of Port Botany and Port Kembla for $5 billion was the largest ever NSW government transaction and provided $4 billion for infrastructure projects.

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