RE: [RML] Licencing fish breeders

Rob Wager (raintree at
Thu, 17 Jul 1997 14:06:17 +1000

Nope. I understand that they've got the same problem as Queensland.

From: Chris Howe[SMTP:c_howe at]
Sent: Thursday, 17 July 1997 9:31
To: rainbowfish at
Subject: Re: [RML] Licencing fish breeders

At 11:01 PM 16/07/97 +1000, you wrote:
Hi Bruce and others on this thread,
Does anyone know the situation in NSW as to when a hobbyist becomes
a professional? I've just had some info from Fisheries here but it is
heavily pitched to large scale startups and doesn't seem to consider the
idea that someone may slowly work their way from a hobbyist into a
professional operation, without starting with a huge slab of capital and a
pile of heavy equipment. There is therefore no definition of the borderline
in all this material (though I have to say there was a lot of well-presented
useful information).
Chris Howe

>The previous definition of commercial aquaculture was related to surface
>area (I think) and was impactical and unacceptable to many when it came to
>the minimum end of the scale ( broadacre operations didn't seem to be a
>problem - even if for tax purposes they didn't seem to make any money)
>After considering this vexed question a lot over the past year or so it
>seems to me (since the purpose of licensing revolves around money, profit
>and taxes) that the only reasonable way to define a commercial operation is
>one that makes a profit above a certain minimum.
>Most hobbyists that I know seem to spend between $10 and $50 aweek over the
>year on food, power, updating equipment etc so probably sales up to $2000 a
>year would not be unreasonable before calling it a commercial operation.
>Obviously there are some hobbyists with extensive collections that spend a
>lot on them and would need to sell a lot of fry to make a profit and there
>are small intensive commercial outfit that are very profiable e.g. breeding
>thousands of Neon tetras per week in a 3mx3m room.I am sure there will be a
>thousand exceptions/objections to the above but to me it is a reasonable
>starting point.
>I think there would be some resistance to the shopkeepers only buying from
>those people who were prepared to supply their tax-file number and I guess
>there will be some resistance from the commercial breeders to the idea
>that there is any place at all in the market for the "backyarder".
>However there are many non-commercial species that would disappear from the
>hobby if it wasn't for the regular "handfuls" produced by the hobbyist
>breeder. Often ( but not always) they also produce a superior quality
>The truly "commercial breeder" should be able to produce a predictable
>number of a nominated quality of each commercial species regularly at a
>fair price from the wholesaler and make a reasonable living from it without
>sqeezing out the hobbyist breeder who is often a significant part of his
>market. Some wholesalers have been known to play off the commercial
>breeders against each other too and eventually that leads to bad end
>results all round.
>I don't think it would be too difficult to have an orderly marketing scheme
>for the ornamental fish industry if there was enough goodwill and
>co-operation out there but there always seems to be someone who wants to
>make the quick buck and sabotage everbody else.
>bhansen at
>> From: Rob Wager <raintree at>
>> To: 'Rainbowfish Mailing List' <rainbowfish at>
>> Subject: [RML] Licencing fish breeders
>> Date: Wednesday, 16 July 1997 14:34
>> Many Queenslanders are aware of our stupid law that states that any one
>breeding any number, or any type of fish must have an aquaculture licence
>if they intend sell or trade them. The law was never intended to apply to
>hobbyist breeders, but it does. Hobbyists cannot afford, and shouldn't
>need, to be licenced.
>> I was contacted (off the record) by a concerned government employee, who
>wanted to know if I had any ideas how to define a hobbyist or commercial
>breeder so that the law could be amended to exclude hobbyists from
>requiring a licence.
>> A positive step I feel.
>> But after considerable discussion we could not come up with a workable
>> Does anyone have any knowledge of laws in any state in any country about
>breeding fish for sale? Anyone have an idea how distinguish between people
>in the hobby and people who are trying to make a buck out of breeding fish.
>> I'm sure all the Queensland hobbyists would appreciate your help.
>> p.s. This is not a paying job for me, just something I would like to see
>cleared up as soon as possible.
>> Rob Wager
>> Raintree Aquatics Pty Ltd
>> Aquatic Environment and Aquaculture Specialists
>> 1002 Caboolture River Road
>> Phone: 07 5496 7939 Facsimile: 07 5497 0022
>> Email: raintree at

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