Scalefish rules set to provide increased protections

​New Scalefish Rules have been developed and will take effect for all fishers from 1 November 2023.

The new rules were developed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) following an extensive review and two rounds of public consultation on the Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules which govern the Scalefish Fishery.

The Scalefish Fishery includes a range of commercial and recreational sectors in coastal waters.

NRE Tas Acting General Manager, Marine Resources, John Adams, said some scalefish species had been assessed as depleted or depleting so it was important that action was taken.

“The new rules balance the need to provide increased protections for scalefish that have had too much fishing pressure and the expectations of the community,” Mr Adams said.

“Importantly, the new rules feature updated size and bag limits for sand flathead.”

Sand flathead is the most popular recreational fish in Tasmania, accounting for 70 per cent of all recreational fish taken from state waters.

Under the new rules, the minimum size for sand flathead has increased to 35 centimetres. A maximum size limit of 40 centimetres has been introduced for all state waters except around the Bass Strait islands.

Regional bag limits have also been introduced, with a two fish bag limit in the southern sand flathead region, five in eastern areas and 10 in all other state waters. A 10 fish possession limit will apply statewide.

A total ban on commercial take of sand flathead by any method will also take effect.

The rules will be reviewed after they have been in place for two years, to ensure they are responsive to the progress of sand flathead stock recovery. This review will also consider other Scalefish.

For more information and to see the new rules, visit the Fishing Tasmania website.