The commercial and recreational southern calamari and squid fisheries will be closed in two areas off Tasmania's north coast from
Friday, 6 October to Sunday, 22 October 2017 inclusive to protect spawning calamari.
The initial proposal to close the entire North Coast was revised following consultation with fishers. Closing only key spawning 'hotspots' around the Stanley area in the north west and waters adjacent to the Tamar River in the central north (see maps below) will better support commercial and recreational fishing activity by providing the opportunity to fish in other areas along the coast.
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
Central North Coast
The central North Coast closure area covers all State waters from Point Sorell to Stony Head including Port Sorell and kanamaluka/Tamar River.
Central North Coast calamari and squid closure area
North West CoastThe North West Coast closure area applies to all State waters from a southern boundary running west from Woolnorth Point, then to the north at longitude 144° 30'E. The eastern boundary is at Table Cape from a line of longitude 145° 43' 30".
North West Coast calamari and squid closure area
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 first management measure being implemented despite being assessed as sustainable. The closure is a precautionary measure to restrain catch at a key period for this increasingly popular species.
These spawning closures 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.
Preliminary data from the first field season of the north coast calamari research project conducted by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) indicates that the two north coast areas are potentially significant breeding sites where calamari congregate in large numbers. This research will continue in 2018 and new information will inform potential future spawning closures.
Prohibiting the taking 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.