Message to industry and stakeholders – Contractual Share Fishing may be eligible for Federal Government’s JobKeeper Payment

Attention all commercial fishers working in a contractual / share fishing arrangement
Contractual/Share fishers who are operating as a business, with their own business name and ABN, can be classified as Sole Traders. Eligible sole traders could be paid $1,500 per fortnight per person, even if the fisher is the only person in the business.

The Federal Government’s website defines the circumstances as follows:

“A sole trader is a business structure where the individual owner is legally responsible for all aspects of the business including any debts and losses and day-to-day business decisions. A sole trader may or may not employ other people in their business.”

WAFIC makes a special request that commercial licence holders pass this information on to skippers and crew to assist them in accessing financial support during this crisis (such as accounting support and computer/communications availability).


  • You must register for the JobKeeper Payment, if you don’t register you will not have any chance of receiving it.

Register via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website at


  • Your business must have been affected by the economic impact of the Coronavirus (i.e stopped / limited fishing)
  • Turnover will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a similar period a year ago (Comparison required of at least one month over the same/similar time to last year).

Sole traders will need to make an application to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis.

The information provided above is based on WAFIC’s understanding as of 6 April 2020, prior to enabling legislation being passed. Through this News Flash WAFIC is intending to alert fishers to possible support from the Federal Government.

WAFIC is not providing accounting or legal advice on that support. If in doubt ask a professional adviser.

You’ll find more information on JobKeeper payments at this site: