Southern Calamari Fishery


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.​

Southern calamari

Southern calamari - Photo courtesy: IMAS

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:

  1. holders of a fishing licence (southern calamari) who operate without catch limits in South East Waters

  2. holders of fishing licence (scalefish A) or (scalefish B) who operate without catch limits in the rest of State waters and

  3. 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. Changes to recreational and commercial calamari management were initially included in the 2023 Scalefish Rules Review, however proposed changes were withdrawn to allow for more extensive consultation on calamari management in early 2024. Non-statutory public consultation on potential management options for calamari also occurred in 2018 and 2021. More information on the outcomes of these consultation processes are available on the calamari fishery management options page.

More information relating to the southern calamari fishery can be found in the scalefish operational guide. 

 2023 Operational Guide for the commercial Scalefish Fishery

More information 

 Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery Assessment 2020/21

2020 Status of Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) Report - Southern Calamari 

Scalefish Catch Reporting 


    Commercial Scalefish Management​
    Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
    GPO Box 44
    HOBART TAS 7001
    Phone: 0475 635 841


    Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

    0427 655 557

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    Contact us

    Recreational Fishing

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    Hobart TAS 7000

    Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


    Commercial Fisheries

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    GPO Box 44

    Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


    Commercial Fisheries Licensing

    Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

    GPO Box 44

    Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550