Protected Species

The following fish species are protected and must not be taken for any reason:
  • Handfish, pipehorse, pipefish, seahorse, threefin blenny, leafy seadragon, limpet, elephant snail, Maugean skate and some sharks (great white, basking, grey nurse, megamouth and whale shark).

    The only exception is for limpets, including elephant snails which may be taken by an Aborigine who is engaged in an Aboriginal Activity.
Spotted handfish





You may encounter, or even accidentally catch, some of these species when fishing. If this occurs you must return them to the water immediately regardless of whether they are alive or dead.

There are also a number of marine species that are threatened species and are protected under the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. Many threatened marine species are also protected nationally under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2000. This includes some birds, seals, turtles, sea stars and whales as well as four species of handfish and the great white shark.

A full list of the threatened species can be found in the Threatened Species section of this website. Check this site regularly to see if any new marine species have been added.

Threatened species cannot be taken without a permit for any reason, however you may encounter or accidentally catch, some of these species when fishing. If you think that you may have caught a threatened species, please try and return it to the water with as little damage as possible.

If it is injured or entangled in fishing gear please contact the DPIPWE Threatened Species Unit and they will advise you on what action might be required.

Maugean skate illustration
Also contact the Threatened Species Unit to report dead threatened species. Where seals, birds, whales or dolphins are involved, contact the Marine Conservation Program on 0427 942 537.

Maugean Skate Alert
The Maugean skate (see illustration) is only found in Macquarie and Bathurst Harbours and its numbers are low. This species is vulnerable to capture in gillnets and must be returned to the water as soon as possible without harm. It is clearly identifiable by the elongated shape of the snout.


Threatened Species Section - Enquiries
GPO Box 44
Phone: 03 6165 4390

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