Danish Seine Fishery


The Danish seine fishery is a​ small component of the Tasmanian Scalesfish Fishery. Once managed under the umbrella of the Tasmanian Inshore Trawl Fishery along with demersal trawling, now only Danish seines are permitted to be used following the prohibition on demersal trawling in State waters in 2001. 

Danish seine illustration

Danish seine

Danish seine vessels have been operating in Tasmania since the mid 1930s and the method used today is largely unchanged from the original. Two species of fish are targeted, tiger flathead (Neoplatycephalus richardsoni) and southern school whiting​ (Sillago flindersi).

The majority of fishing effort is concentreated in the south and south-east regions of the State, with small amounts of activity in the north-east and north-west. 

Managing the fishery

The Tasmania Danish seine fishery is managed under the provisions of the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and the Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules 2015.

The fishery consists of eight licences, two limited Danish seine and six Danish seine, with only two of these operating in the last five years. All licences are currently non-transferable, so cannot be sold or handed down to family members. In addition, a licence can only be operated by individuals that were historically nominated on the licence. Please note that trawling does still occur in Commonwealth waters, which are managed by AFMA

There are also significant area restrictions in place for the fishery. Details about the operation areas can be found on the Areas of the Danish Seine Fishery​ page. 

Information relating to the Danish seine Fishery can be found in the scalefish operational guide. 

 2022 Operational guide for the commercial Scalefish Fishery (PDF 7Mb)

How Danish seine works 

Danish seine vessels in Tasmania typically operate close shore (although outside of the one nautical mile limit) on flat sandy bottom. Water depths fished are approximately between 10 to 90 metres.

Danish seine fishing gear is very light and does not plough into the​ sea floor, but rather skips over the substrate, scaring and herding the fish into the net. Due to the light nature of the fishing gear, reefs are avoided by the operators. In general catch sizes are small, so there is minimal damage to the catch. The fish can be iced down quickly and the landed product is of a high quality. There is generally very little bycatch associated with this type of fishing. ​

 A Tasmanian Danish Seine Operation (PDF 4Mb)​

More information 

Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Assessment 2019/20 

2017-18 Survey of Recreational Fishing in Tasmania

2020 Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) Report - Eastern School Whiting 

2020 Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) Report - Tiger Flathead


Wild Fisheries Management Branch
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000
Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au