Scalefish Fishery Rule Changes

Sand flathead

Proposed rule changes for the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery are now open for public comment.

The proposed amendments to the Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules 2015 apply to commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fishing and include:

  • reviewing size, bag and possession limits for depleted and depleting species for all fishers;
  • introducing regional and statewide rules for depleted and depleting species;
  • introducing two new commercial calamari licence types;
  • reviewing recreational gillnetting arrangements; and
  • introducing registration of charter fishing operations and reporting requirements.

Species that are assessed as depleted or depleting include sand flathead, calamari, striped trumpeter, bastard trumpeter, blue warehou, garfish and jackass morwong.

The proposed changes aim to improve the long-term sustainability of the scalefish fishery and modernise how it is managed.

We are seeking your views on the proposed rule changes. Public comment is open until 5 June 2023 (extended by a week).

Interim measures for sand flathead including changes to recreational catch limits have been introduced to alleviate fishing pressure while the rules review is undertaken.

Consultation documents

 Public Consultation Paper - Scalefish Rules Review 2023

 Summary - Scalefish Rules Review (2 pages)

 Summary - Sand Flathead Changes (2 pages) 

 Draft Legislation - Fisheries (Scalefish) Amendment Rules 2023

More information

 Scalefish Fishery Assessment 2020-21

 Scientific Advice on Sand Flathead Management Scenarios

 Sand Flathead - What's Happening in the Fishery?

 Recreational Gillnetting in Tasmania - Transitional Arrangements

 Tasmanian Calamari Fishery - Managing Stocks for Sustainability (PDF 1Mb)​

Focus on Flathead - TARFish / IMAS YouTube series

Public consultation: How it works and how to have your say

Commercial sand flathead fishery

Supporting a sustainable calamari fishery

Have your say

To have your say, read the consultation documents and make a submission on the proposed changes before 11:59pm on Monday, 5 June 2023.



Use the online form

​Email your submission to
​Wild Fisheries Management Branch, NRE Tas, PO Box 44, Hobart, Tas 7001.​

​Public information sessions

​Session Time
​26 April
​Strahan​Theatre Room, Risby Cove, Esplanade
​7:0​0pm session - Book
​28 April
​Hobart L1 Truwana/Cape Barren Room, ​Lands Building, 134 Macquarie Street
​12:00pm session - Book
1:00pm session - Book
1 May
King Diego Room, Eastcoaster Resort
​5:30pm session - Book

​2 May
​Bicheno​Bicheno Memorial Hall Annex, Burgess Street
​12:30pm session - Book
​2 May
​St Helens
​Panorama Hotel, Quail Street
​5:30pm session - Book
6:30pm session - Book
​3 May
​Launceston​Room 10, Launceston Conference Centre, Glen Dhu Street
​5:30pm session - Book
7:00pm session - Book
​​Thu, Fri & Sat,
May 4 - 6
​Agfest Fish Hub - Have your say
Fishing Hub, Cnr Seventh and North Sts, Marine Precinct
​8:00am - 4:00pm daily
​8 May
​HobartIluka Room, Hobart Function and Conference Centre, Elizabeth Street Pier
​5:30pm session - Book
7:00pm session - Book
​10 May
HobartLevel 1 Truwana/Cape Barren Room, ​Lands Building, 134 Macquarie Street
​12:00pm session - Book
1:30pm session - Book
​10 May
​Smithton Hall of Fame, ​Circular Head Community & Rec Centre, Cnr Nelson & Grant Sts
​5:30pm session - Book

11 MayDevonport​Function Room, Devonport Surf Lifesaving Club
​12:30pm session - Book
11 May​BurnieFunction Room, Cradle Coast Authority, 1-3 Spring St6:30pm session - Book
​19 May
Flinders Island​Council Office Hall, Whitemark​5:15pm session - Book
24 May
​Eaglehawk Neck
​Eaglehawk Neck Community Hall, Arthur Highway
5:30pm session - Book
(Rescheduled time)
​25 May

Geeveston Community Hall

6:30pm session - Book
(Rescheduled time)
​26 May
Huon/Channel area
​Brookfield Shed, 1640 Channel Highway, Margate
6:30pm session - Book
(Rescheduled time)

What happens now?

Public submissions form part of a summary report of community responses to the proposed changes. This report, including how the Wild Fisheries Branch will address community feedback, is provided to the Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee and Scalefish Fisheries Advisory Committee for their advice and recommendations.

In consultation with the FACs and considering scientific advice, NRE Tas then identifies whether the proposed changes can be modified in response to community feedback, without compromising fisheries outcomes. A formal report is then submitted to the Minister containing:

  • submissions received during the public consultation period,
  • SFAC and RecFAC recommendations, and
  • final NRE Tas advice. 

The Minister makes the final determination about proposed rule changes and the report is made public after any management changes are announced.

Information about submissions

All submissions, including the names of individual respondents, will be treated as public information, and will be made available on the Fishing Tasmania website. 

The following information will not be published: 
  • ​private addresses and contact details (including mobile phone numbers) 
  • defamatory or offensive material
  • submissions which breach any laws
  • submissions that do not substantively comment on issues relevant to the consultation. ​​
A submission may be publicly withheld when it is not in the public interest to release it—for example—to protect personal and other sensitive information (including that of a commercial nature). A request can be made for all or part of a submission (including the name of the submitting person or organisation) to be publicly withheld. Reasons to withhold must accompany a request. 

The Right to Information Act 2009 and confidentiality

By law, information provided to the Government may be provided to an applicant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). If you have indicated that you wish all or part of your submission to be confidential, the statement that details your reasons will be taken into account in determining whether to release the information in the event of an RTI application for assessed disclosure.


Scalefish Rules Review

Scalefish Fishery Rules Review
Wild Fisheries Management Branch
GPO Box 44



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 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550