Scalefish Management Plan Amendments 2015

Following a major review and extensive consultation, a new Scalefish Fishery Management Plan, the Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules 2015 will be implemented in Tasmania from 1 November.

New recreational and commercial scalefishing rules will apply in Tasmania from Sunday, 1 November 2015.

The rule changes aim to improve fishing practices and the sustainability of fish stocks

The scalefish fishery encompasses both the recreational and commercial sectors fishing in State waters, covering all gear types associated with the taking of scalefish species, size and catch limits and licensing requirements.

Summary of Changes

  • There are new recreational bag and possession limits for all scalefish, shark, squid, octopus and some small invertebrates.
  • Recreational boat limits apply for tuna (other than albacore and skipjack), shark, striped trumpeter, blue-eye trevalla, swordfish and marlin.
  • For sand and tiger flathead, the size limit is now 32cm, the bag limit 20 and the possession limit 30. For bluespotted and rock flathead, the size limit is now 40cm, the bag limit 5 (only 1 over 60cm) and the possession limit 10.
  • There are also new size limits for striped trumpeter (55cm), King George whiting (35cm) and yellowtail kingfish (45cm);
  • Recreational gillnets can only be set from sunrise until one hour before sunset;
  • There are a number of new gillnet free areas including Macquarie Harbour entrance, Godfrey's Beach (Stanley), Low Head, Lillico Beach, Musselroe Bay, Parsonage Point (Burnie), Waubs Bay (Bicheno), Derwent River entrance, Sloping and Spectacle Islands (Frederick Henry Bay).
  • Macquarie Harbour recreational night netting is now restricted from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise and must have a red buoy at each end of the net. Day nets can only be set one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset and have no red marker buoys.  There are new recreational gillnet closed areas in the internal waters of Macquarie Harbour, Birchs Inlet, The Narrows and Lower Birchs Inlet.
  • Recreational set lines are restricted to day use only (one hour before sunrise until one hour before sunset) with the number of hooks reduced from 30 to 15. Two fishers can join their lines in waters less than 150 metres.
  • Beach seine nets cannot be used in Robbins Passage.
  • Recreational gillnets and longlines now required marker buoys at each end of the net.
  • The use and definitions of allowable recreational auxiliary fishing gear has been clarified including kites and balloons, bait pumps and electric reels.
  • The minimum age for holding a recreational gillnet or setline licence is now 10 years old.
  • Skipjack tuna can still be used for bait but only the heads and frames of any other tuna.  All parts of Atlantic salmon can be used.
  • Introduction of weight based quota management in the commercial banded morwong fishery.

Read a full summary of the changes below.

  Summary Scalefish changes   (654Kb)

Review and Consultation Process

In 2013, Fishery Advisory Committees and representative fishing bodies including the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council and the Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing provided input into identifying the issues to be advanced through the review. DPIPWE then sought the approval of the Minister to develop final proposals for inclusion in the draft plan for public exhibition.

A public comment period on the draft management plan for recreational and commercial scalefishing in Tasmania was open from 23 June and closed on 21 August 2015.  Public information sessions were held during July and August 2015 in Launceston, St Helens, Triabunna, Smithton, Strahan, Burnie, Dunalley and Hobart.

During the statutory public exhibition period for the draft plan, 453 written submissions were received addressing the direct questions asked.

Final Report to the Minister

The Final Report to the Minister on the Remake of the Scalefish Fishery Management Plan (September 2015) has now been provided as required by section 47 of the Act and reports on the public exhibition of the draft management plan, the representations received and the resultant amendments made to the draft management plan during the review and consulation phase.

The new scalefish fishery management plan, the Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules 2015 is now available to view from the Tasmanian legislation website.

  Scalefish Fishery Management Plan - Final Report to the Minister (September 2015)   (2Mb)

    Background documents

    Scientific and fishery reports

    Contact

    Wild Fisheries Management
    1 Franklin Wharf
    GPO Box 44
    Hobart TAS 7001
    Phone: 03 6165 3000, 1300 368 550
    Email: fishing.enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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