Fisheries Management Initiatives

Rock Lobster season dates

The dates for the 2019 rock lobster season will be:

East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone (ECSRZ)

East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone map

East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone map

  • The recreational sector will open on Saturday 7 December 2019 (entire Eastern Zone closes on 30 April 2020); and
  • The commercial sector will open on Tuesday 10 December 2019.

Waters outside the ECSRZ

  • The recreational sector will open on 2 November 2019; and,
  • The commercial sector will open on 15 November 2019.

Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy

As part of the package of announcements a number of initiatives will be progressed and considered.

A key aspect of the announcements is the development of a Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy.  Amongst other aspects, the Strategy will address:

~  Resource access and sustainability;

~  Modernising compliance to fairly manage access for Tasmanians, and including the increasing numbers of fishing tourists;

~  Research priorities to guide future policy and decision-making;

~  Social and economic values;

~  Education and awareness.

The Strategy will provide a more explicit framework for the recreational fishery, and how it should operate into the future, and will assist to more clearly delineate the vision, goals and guidelines for marine recreational fisheries and their management.

Other initiatives are:

  • options to further optimise and increase the East Coast translocation program to support stock rebuilding will be investigated;
  • social and economic assessment of the east coast commercial rock lobster fishery.

Rock lobster rule amendments

Amendments have been made to the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan resulting in the following changes applying from 1 November 2019:

  • Increasing the female legal minimum size limit in the north western part of the rock lobster fishery from 105mm to 120mm between Point Sorell on the north coast and the Henty River on the west coast. 
  • Increasing the maximum number of pots that can be set from a commercial vessel from 50 to 60 for the western half of the State from Bluff Hill Point (41°S) to South Cape. 
  • Removing the vessel length/pot numbers schedule and associated alternative methods for determining how many pots can be on a commercial rock lobster vessel.
  • Removing the endorsement to unload rock lobster outside of State waters.
  • Reducing the recreational boat limit in the Northern Bass Strait western region from 25 to 10.
  • Including a provision to allow the publication of a public notice on a website.
  • Providing greater flexibility for communication methods associated with the notification of pots that cannot be retrieved within the 48 time period.

Abalone rule amendments

Amendments to the Tasmanian Abalone Fishery Management Plan are being progressed resulting in the following changes from 1 November 2019

  • An Eastern Region bag limit of five (5) abalone, with the Western Region to remain at 10.
  • A state-wide possession limit of 10 abalone.
  • The introduction of an Eastern Region boat limit of 25 abalone. A boat limit will not apply for the Western Region.
  • The possession limit for non-fishers (on land) reduced to two (down from five).

A summary of initiatives fact sheet has been developed.

  Recreational Fisheries - summary of initiatives   (600Kb)



Wild Fisheries Management Branch
1 Franklin Wharf
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

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