Macquarie Harbour netting changes

​Changes to recreational and commercial gillnetting in Macquarie Harbour are being implemented to reduce interactions with endangered Maugean skates.

The status of the skate has worsened recently, requiring a multi-faceted approach to address threats, including net fishing.

Research indicates that Macquarie Harbour is now the only place in the world where the skate is found.

Maugean skate

Endangered Maugean skate

As from 1 November 2022, there will be four main changes to recreational netting in Macquarie Harbour:

  1. Several areas of preferred Maugean skate habitat will be closed to fishing. This includes: between Table Head and Backagain Point, Pine Cove, Rum Point, Gordon Point and most of the western shoreline including Steadman Point - see map below.
  2. Overnight netting will no longer be allowed - nets can only be set between sunrise and two hours after sunset.
  3. The maximum net soak time will be two hours.
  4. It will be illegal to take any skates or rays inside Macquarie Harbour.

Changes are also being applied to the two commercial scalefishers in Macquarie Harbour.  This includes the same area closures that apply to recreational fishers, a daytime maximum soak time of two hours and no taking of any skates and rays in Macquarie Harbour.  A major change for commercial fishers is a summer closed season from 15 November to 14 April 2023.

The NRE Tas Threatened Species Unit and Wild Fisheries Management Branch have worked with IMAS researchers to provide a balanced approach to protect this important species while still allowing some netting access for local fishers. This includes two hours of netting after sunset to catch flounder.

The changes are interim measures to address increasing concerns about the Maugean skate. There will be further consultation next year during a statewide review of the scalefish rules.

Management changes are also being progressed for commercial scalefishers in Macquarie Harbour.

See Macquarie Harbour netting areas map.

Check the recreational gear rules.

Read what is being done to protect the endangered Maugean skate.

Published on: 11/1/2022


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Recreational Fishing

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GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550