Total allowable catch
The commercial shellfish fishery selectively harvests three key species by hand, either by diving from small vessels or wading. The harvest locations are restricted to areas that were historically identified through an extensive research and permitting process, as being best able to support a fishery.
This low quantity fishery supplies high quality and sought after product to boutique local markets.
Managing the fishery
The Tasmanian Shellfish Fishery is managed under the provisions of the
Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and Fisheries (Shellfish) Rules 2017.
Minimum size limits ensure animals can spawn multiple times before they enter the fishery.
Angasi oysters: 70 mm minimum shell length
Venerupis clams: 40 mm minimum shell length
The total allowable commercial catch (TAC) per species is set annually using stock survey data. Once a TAC is reached, the commercial fishery for that species is closed for the remainder of the licensing year.
There are only two licences each for native oysters and clams.
There is no cap on the number of wild Pacific oyster licences that can be issued, and there is no TAC or minimum size limit because they are an introduced species.
Operators who dive for their shellfish must be licenced commercial
Operators are also bound by the requirements of the ShellMAP program which monitors shellfish food safety.
Commercial Shellfish fishery assessment reports:
IMAS Small Bivalve Assessment Reports
Shellfish Fishery Policy Document (1.47 MB)
Shellfish Policy Update 2017