Mackerel Fishery

Current season Total Allowable Catch (TAC)

2021/22 Season TAC (tonnes)​
​Blue Mackerel
​Jack Mackerel


Blue Mackerel (Scomber australasicus), Jack Mackerel (Trachurus declivis) and Redbait (Emmelic​hthys nitidus) are shared stocks with the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) managed by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). The Small Pelagic Fishery is a purse seine and mid-water trawl fishery that operates in C​ommonwealth waters (from 3 to 200 nautical miles) from southern Queensland to south-western Western Australia, including Tasmania. 

The Jack Mackerel fishery in Tasmanian started in the early 1970s with the highest catch at around 6,300 in 1973. 

By 2000, fishers were struggling to find surface schools in state waters and the industry began mid-water trawling (also for redbait) in Commonwealth waters. 

Managing the fishery 

The Tasmanian Mackerel Fishery consists of five licences authorised to targeted three species in state waters and the TAC for the fishery much be set each year. The Fisheries (Mackerel) Rules 2019 ​provides the legislative framework for this fishery. 


The Commonwealth SPF Harvest Strategy (last revised in 2017)​ guides the setting of the Commonwealth TAC using a rigorous assessment process for each species. The Tasmanian Mackerel Fishery TACs are set as a portion of the SPF TACs. 

Since the Mackerel Fishery has not been active since 2012/13 season, NRE Tas proposed that the TAC for this fishery are set for two seasons - i.e., the 2020/21 and 2021/22season. Go to the Public Notices page to view current season TAC notice. 

As the Tasmanian Mackerel Fishery operates in waters along the east coast of Tasmanian, the TACs relevant to species in the fishery are based on the eastern stocks. ​

More information 

Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Assessment 2019/20​

2017-18 Survey of Recreational Fishing in Tasmania 

Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery Assessment Report 2019 - May 2021

2020 Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) Report - Jack Mackerel 

2020 Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) Report - Blue Mackerel


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