The fishery is managed by Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F).
The East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery covers all tidal waters of the east coast out to the Queensland East Coast Offshore Constitutional Settlement Boundary between the northern tip of Cape York Peninsula and the Queensland-New South Wales border.
Commercial fisheries have been classified according to areas, each represented by a fishery symbol i.e. areas where licensed fishers are authorised to fish using specified gear. Maps of these areas can be found on DPI&F's Commercial fishery symbols in Queensland page. For the exact coordinates, see Queensland’s Fisheries Regulations 1995. Commercial fishers must have a licence to operate in the inshore net fishery. The number of licences for the fishery has been frozen since 1984.
Legal size limits for many species of tidal fish apply to both commercial and recreational fishers. Size limits are based on research into the biology of fish species, and to help protect the reproductive capacity of fish populations. There is also a take and possession limit restricting the number of fish that can be held by recreational fishers.
There is a closed season for barramundi from midday 1 November to midday 1 February every year. This closure applies to both commercial and recreational fishers, and effectively closes the whole inshore net fishery during the barramundi spawning season.
Zoning by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) restricts the areas open to commercial net fishing. Most inshore areas are Queensland waters, and are managed by DPI&F, with some areas closed to certain forms of fishing (see Waters closed to all forms of fishing). Within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park only Habitat Protection (dark blue) and General Use (light blue) zones are open to net fishing. Bait nets are also permitted in Conservation Park (yellow) zones. There are also 17 Dugong Protection Areas along the Queensland coast, where net fishing is either prohibited or restricted.
Restrictions on fishing gear apply, and are enforced by DPI&F. Design, length and drop sizes of nets, size of mesh, number of nets used,
deployment and attendance of nets are regulated.