Phasing out recreational gillnetting

In 2021, the Tasmanian Government committed to phasing out the use of recreational gillnets by 2030.

This commitment was driven by a growing recognition of the impacts of gillnets on target and non-target species (including marine mammals and seabirds), the conflict between gillnets and other water users, and changing community values.

Reducing impacts from high-risk fishing gear is also consistent with principles outlined in the Tasmanian Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy.

Beginning to phase out recreational gillnetting

The phase out of recreational gillnetting will occur in three stages. The first stage occured as part of the 2023 Scalefish Rules Review.

Under the new Fisheries (Scalefish) Rules changes include:

  • Reducing the maximum soak time in all State waters from 6 to 2 hours;
  • Requiring licence holders to be within 50m of their net at all times when setting in Shark Refuge Areas;
  • Prohibiting the use of recreational gillnets in water greater than 20 metres in depth;
  • Prohibiting the use of recreational gillnets in waters further than 250 metres from the high-water mark; and

The interim gillnet management arrangements for Macquarie Harbour where also formalised in the new Scalefish Rules.

2025 onwards

In 2025, it is proposed to:

  • Prohibit the use of recreational gillnets in Shark Refuge Areas; and
  • Require recreational nets set in waters where recreational gillnetting is allowed to be attended by the licence holder at all times.
In 2027, it's proposed to restrict recreational netting for the targeting and retention of Atlantic Salmon only following notifiable escape events.

After 1 January 2030, all recreational gillnetting activity will no longer be permitted.

Gillnetting in Tasmania

A recreational fisher setting a gillnet.

How the arrangements were developed

The arrangements to transition away from gillnetting were developed in coordination with a reference group comprised of recreational fishers plus representatives from NRE Wild Fisheries, the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), the Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing (TARFish), the Tasmania Police and the NRE Marine Conservation Program.

A scoping paper covering all relevant information was drafted to provide the group with the necessary information to propose transitional management arrangements. 

 Recreational Gillnetting in Tasmania - Transitional Arrangements

Published on: 5/19/2023


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