The commercial fishery for southern calamari developed rapidly in the mid-1990s, with landings peaking at around 100 tonnes between 1997/98 and 2003/04. Management interventions such as seasonal closures on some key spawning grounds on the east coast and the introduction of a limited number of species specific licences in the south east resulted in fishing effort spreading to other areas of the State.
Southern calamari are predominantly taken by squid jigs used on a rod or handline. Other fishing gears, such as Danish seine, purse seine, beach seine, spear and dip net are also used to a lesser extent.
Managing the fishery
The Tasmania southern calamari fishery is managed under the provisions of the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and the Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules 2015.
The southern calamari fishery is currently managed by a combination of species specific licences in the south east (where a trip limit applies for non-licence holders), a spawning closure on east coast and north coast, and bag and possession limit for recreational fishers.
The southern calamari fishery includes:
- holders of a fishing licence (southern calamari) who operate without catch limits in South East Waters
- holders of fishing licence (scalefish A) or (scalefish B) who operate without catch limits in the rest of State waters and
- Fishers who do not hold a calamari licence or hold a rock lobster licence or fishing licence (scalefish C), who operate with commercial trip limits.
The calamari fishery is facing increased fishing pressure from both the recreational and commercial sectors and is impacted by changing environmental conditions. For more information see Calamari Fishery Management Options.
Information relating to the southern calamari fishery can be found in the scalefish operational guide.
2022 Operational guide for the commercial Scalefish Fishery (PDF 7Mb)
Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Assessment 2019/20
2020 Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) Report - Southern Calamari
Scalefish Catch Reporting