*This page has been updated to reflect new rules that apply from 1 November 2022.*
To find out what's changed, watch the video - Key Rules You Need to Know:
The following rules apply to both southern rock lobster and eastern (green) rock lobster which are also referred to in Tasmania as crayfish.
- You must be 10 years or older to hold a rock lobster licence.
Regional size limits apply for taking rock lobster.
|Northern Zone - Waters from 42°00'S (near Henty River) north and east to Cape Pillar (43°13'18"S). See map below.|
You cannot possess female lobster smaller than 120mm inside the Northern Zone.
|Female: 120 mm|
|Male: 110 mm|
|Southern Zone - Waters from Cape PiIlar (43°13'18"S) south and west to 42°00'S near Henty River (includes Frederick Henry and Norfolk Bays and Storm Bay).||Female: 105 mm|
Watch the video - Size limits and tail-marking rules
Transiting between size limit zones
You can transit into another size limit zone with lobsters on board provided that:
- You make a transit report by phoning 1300 720 647 at least one hour before crossing any size limit boundary.
- Lobsters are
tail marked in accordance with the zone in which they were taken.
- You do not possess female lobsters smaller than 120mm in the Northern Zone.
Watch the video - Transiting between size limit zones with rock lobster on board
Bag, possession, boat and boat gear limits
Boat Gear Limit
Rock Lobster Pot:
Rock Lobster Ring: 20
*The person in charge of the boat is responsible for adhering to boat limits.
|Northern Bass Strait||2||4||10|
| Mainland Tasmania, islands in the Western Region, Flinders, Cape Barren and Bruny Islands including homes, shacks and vehicles||-||10||-|
|Non-licensed||-||On land - 2|
On state waters - 0
Child under 10||-||0||-|
Recreational rock lobster bag and possession limits
Sharing rock lobster when group fishing
Rock lobster can be shared between licensed pot fishers on the same boat provided:
- A fisher’s excess catch is only given to another fisher on the same boat who has a pot set, or who has retrieved a pot that was set within 250 metres of any other pot used.
- Any retained lobster is tail marked in accordance with the rules.
- After lobster are marked, each fisher must not possess more than the bag limit.
- The boat operator ensures the total number of lobsters is within the boat limit.
Group sharing of rock lobster does not apply to lobster taken by diving.
Watch the video - How to share rock lobster when group fishing
Holding lobster on an unattended vessel
A fisher can leave lobsters on a boat unattended and be more than 100 metres away provided:
- The lobsters are not left unattended for more than 24 hours.
- The lobsters are in a separate compartment or container (such as a bag) which is marked with their licence number or unique identifying code.
- The fisher is not using a cauf at the same time.
Setting gear at season opening
You can only possess a rock lobster pot on state waters
from 6am the day before the season opens for that region or zone and only set a pot
after 1pm on the same day. Pots can then be pulled after midnight.
Transiting at season opening
You cannot possess pots or rings in any part of the
East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone
until that area opens,
you can possess pots in D’Entrecasteaux Channel and River Derwent waters - see map below.
Transiting the D’Entrecasteaux Channel
When waters outside the ECSRZ are open but the ECSRZ is closed, you can transit
and River Derwent waters with pots and/or rock lobster onboard provided:
Once the ECSRZ opens, you do not have to make these reports.
- You make a transit report by phoning 1300 720 647 at least one hour before entering the D’Entrecasteaux Channel or River Derwent.
- You directly transit between closed and open waters (no swimming, diving or stopping).
- You only leave from or return to a public wharf, boat ramp or jetty and unload your lobster, pots and rings within an hour of landing there.
- You make a transit report
by phoning 1300 720 647 at least one hour before re-entering the closed area with pots and/or lobster onboard.
All transiting must occur via the southern end of the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.
Transiting is not permitted through other seasonally closed areas including the northern boundary of the ECSRZ, from areas such as St Helens or Ansons Bay.
Watch the video - Transiting reporting explained
Eating rock lobster at sea
You can cut up and eat one rock lobster for each licence holder on a boat. This rock lobster is included in your daily bag limit.
Humanely killing rock lobster
To avoid stress and achieve best eating qualities rock lobster should be humanely killed before cooking. This can be done by:
Step 1: Freezer chill lobster in air at deep freeze temperatures of - 13°C (5°F) for approximately 30 minutes until
For more information see the RSPCA Guidelines.
Step 2: After chilling, the insensible crustacean should be killed immediately. This is most easily achieved by cutting through the centreline of the head and abdomen (splitting the lobster in half) or inserting a knife into the head of the animal (spiking).
Measuring, marking and sexing rock lobster
Rock Lobster Catch Monitoring App Trial - recreational fishers can log their catch as part of a trial to better manage the rock lobster fishery.
Illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe