Scalefish Fishery


The commercial scalefish fishery is a multi-species and multi-gear fishery predominantly made up of small owner operators. 

Vessels vary in size and type and different fishing gears are used. Examples include gillnets, hook and line, longlines, spears, drop lines, squid jigs, automatic squid jig machines, fish traps, purse seine nets, beach seine nets, dipnets, octopus pots and Danish seine. 

Some of the species commercially targeted are banded morwong, southern calamari​, octopus, tiger flathead, school whiting, southern garfish, wrasse, Gould's squid, bastard trumpeter, blue warehou, silver warehou, flounder, silver trevally, striped trumpeter and small pelagic species

Managing the fishery 

The scalefish fishery is managed under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and the Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules 2015. The mackerel fishery is managed under the Fisheries (Mackerel) Rules 2019

The fishery is controlled through capped licence numbers, closed seasons and gear restrictions. There are also minimum and maximum size limits and trip limits. Banded morwong on the East Coast are controlled by a quota management system. Catch limits are in place for recreational fishers.

Commercial licences 

To catch and sell scalefish species from Tasmanian waters, fishers are required to hold specific scalefish licences. The platform for a commercial scalefish licence package is a fishing licence (vessel). 

A fishing licence (rock lobster) is also classed as a scalefish licence due to the amount of scalefish gear rock lobster fishers are permitted to use. Rock lobster fishers have catch limits on certain species - see the Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules 2015 and the Operational Guide for the Commercial Scalefish Fishery

For information about commercial scalefish licence types and number, please see the document below. 


​There are areas around Tasmania where no fishing or limited fishing using specific types of fishing gear is allowed. There areas include Marine Parks, Marine Nature Reserves and Shark Refuge Areas. 

Go to the Marine Reserve​ page for more information about State Marine Nature Reserves and Commonwealth Marine Parks. 

Go to the Shark Refuge Areas page for more information about area descriptions and maps. 

Go to the Net and Line Restrictions page for the descriptions and maps on no netting and setline areas. 

Banded Morwong area management information can be found on the Map of the Commercial Banded Morwong Fishery page. ​

Operational areas of the Danish Seine Fishery can be found on the Areas of the Danish Seine Fishery page. 

More information

 2022 Operational Guide for the Commercial Scalefish Fishery (PDF 7Mb)

 2022 Operational Guide for the commercial Banded Morwong Fishery (PDF 8Mb)

Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Assessment 2019/20

Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery


Wild Fisheries Management Branch
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000