The commercial and recreational southern calamari and squid fisheries will be closed on Tasmania's north coast (see map) from
Monday, 1 October to Wednesday, 31 October 2018 inclusive to protect spawning calamari.
The decision to close the entire North Coast was to increase the protection to the north coast stocks while spawning.
North Coast calamari and squid closure area
Read the Closure Notice.
More information on north and east coast closure areas.
What is prohibited during the closure?
During the closure period, taking or possessing calamari and other squid species is prohibited in the closed areas.
Transiting the closed areas in possession of squid species is not permitted unless the person in possession of Gould’s squid is the holder of a Commonwealth authority or a Tasmanian fishing licence (automatic squid jig) and had taken those fish under that authority.
Any squid and calamari
caught prior to the closure periods and for example, stored in a freezer, is not affected.
Which squid species are included in the closure?
For compliance reasons,
all squid species and southern calamari including frozen bait are included in both the north and south east coast closures.
Prohibiting the taking and possession of both southern calamari and other species of squid such as Gould’s squid (arrow squid) ensures that calamari are not inadvertently taken by fishers targeting squid in these areas.
Deliberate misidentification of squid species by persons fishing illegally presents a significant risk to the integrity of prosecution cases. Regarding frozen bait, advice from Tasmania Police is that differentiating frozen squid from squid caught in state waters is also a compliance issue. The measures in place provide strong rigour to the closure.
Why are the closures needed?
A significant increase in southern calamari catch levels in the north of the state by both sectors has seen this management measure being implemented despite the fishery being assessed as sustainable. The closure is a precautionary measure to restrain catch at a key period for this increasingly popular species.
The spawning closure ensures that calamari won't be targeted when they are at their most vulnerable and some protection is provided during peak spawning activity to help maintain stocks into the future.
Data from the north coast calamari research project conducted by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies indicates that the north coast area contains potentially significant breeding sites where calamari congregate in large numbers. This research continues and new information will inform potential future spawning closures.