The following rules apply to both southern rock lobster and eastern (green) rock lobster which are also referred to in Tasmania as crayfish.
A rock lobster dive licence allows you to take rock lobster by hand, a rock lobster pot licence to use one pot and a rock lobster ring licence to use up to four rings.
You must be 10 years or older to hold a rock lobster licence. The licence holder must personally set and retrieve any rock lobster fishing gear and another person may assist them if needed e.g. to lift the pot. See the
for more information.
Special rock lobster licence
The holder of a recreational rock lobster licence can buy a
special rock lobster licence
which allows you to possess 15 rock lobster in the
and on mainland Tasmania for a 14 day period nominated by the fisher. During this 14 day period,
you are not allowed to fish for rock lobster in the Eastern Region
Daily bag limits
persons engaged in
aboriginal fishing are exempt
from holding a fishing licence but must comply with all other rules. Where gear must be marked with a licence number, Aboriginal fishers should use a unique identifying code. More information on
Recreational Fishing Seasons page for current open and closed season dates.
Females - open to fishing from the first Saturday in November to 30 April of the following year.
Males - open to fishing from the first Saturday in November to 31 August of the following year.
For 2017-18 season, date to be announced to 30 April of the following year.
for the Eastern Region, recreational fishers cannot possess rock lobster or pots or rings on state waters in the Eastern Region.
You can only possess a rock lobster pot on State fishing waters
the day before the season opens and only set a pot
on the same day. Pots can then be pulled after midnight.
There are different minimum size limits for male and female rock lobster:
Male 110 mm
Female 105 mm
Bag and possession limits
Different regional and statewide daily bag, possession limits, boat limits and boat gear limits apply depending on whether you are licensed or not and they apply everywhere, including your home.
If you have a recreational rock lobster pot, ring or dive licence, you can have:
A possession limit of 10 applies on mainland Tasmania, islands in the Western Region and on Flinders, Cape Barren and Bruny Islands including homes, shacks and vehicles. Eastern Region
daily bag limit of 2 rock lobster in the
Eastern Region, 5 rock lobster in the
Western Region and 2 rock lobster in
northern Bass Strait;
possession limit of 4 rock lobster in the Eastern Region, 10 rock lobster in the Western Region and mainland Tasmania and 4 rock lobster in northern Bass Strait;
- Special Rock Lobster licence holders can have a possession limit of 15 rock lobster (in the Western Region and on mainland Tasmania only) for the 14 day period of the licence; and
non-licensed possession limit of 0 rock lobster on state fishing waters and 2 rock lobster on land.
possession limits apply within 100 metres of unloading any rock lobster, except where the fisher's shack or home is within the 100 metres.
If you are on State waters with more than the daily bag limit, you must prove you have fished for more than one day eg. an extended or overnight trip.
If you don't have a rock lobster licence, you can't possess lobster while on State fishing waters or possess more than two lobster unless you have a receipt or the lobster has a commercial tag.
A child under 10 cannot possess rock lobster and any rock lobster held by that child are deemed to be in the possession of the supervising adult. A person with a special rock lobster licence can possess 15 lobsters during the 14 day licence period nominated by the fisher.
there is a boat limit of 10 rock lobster.Western Region:
there is a boat limit of 25 rock lobster.
The person in charge of the boat is responsible for adhering to boat limits.
Boat gear limits
A boat limit of 5 rock lobster pots and 20 rock lobster rings applies.
Eating rock lobster at sea
You can cut up and eat one rock lobster for each licence holder on a boat. This rock lobster is included in your daily bag limit.
Tagged and specially marked rock lobster
- You cannot possess specially-marked research rock lobsters, which have either two separate holes of at least 5 mm in diameter in the tail fan, two coloured lines on the underside of the tail or a blue T-bar tag with the words
TAFI Research - Illegal to Take.
- You can keep other tagged rock lobster.
Lobster illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe