Rock Lobster Fishing

*New rules apply from 1 November 2022 for recreational and commercial fishing.  For more details see Rock Lobster Management Changes.*

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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. ​
  • Aboriginal persons engaged in Aboriginal fishing are exempt from holding a fishing licence but must comply with all other rules. Where gear must be marked with a licence number, Aboriginal fishers should use a unique identifying code.


See the Fishing Seasons page for current open and closed season dates.

Size limits

Regional size limits apply for taking rock lobster.


​Size Limit

North West Zone - waters bounded in the south by line of latitude ​42°00 S on the West Coast and bounded in the north by a line running northward at Point Sorell. See map below.

You cannot possess female lobster smaller than 120mm​ inside the North West Zone or when transiting from outside the Zone to inside it.
​Female: 120 mm
​Male: 110 mm
​Other Waters ​​Female: 105 mm
Male: 110 mm

Rock lobster regional size limits  

​​Bag, possession, boat and boat gear limit​​s

​​ ​​Region​

​​Bag Limit

​Possession Limit

​​​​Boat Limit​

​​​ ​Bo​​​at Gear Limit

Eastern Region
* Easter​​n ​Region possession limits apply within 100 metres of unloading any rock lobster, except where the fisher's shack or home is within the 100 metres
​​​​​​​​Rock Lobster Pot: 5

Rock Lobster Ring: 20

*The person in charge of the boat is responsible for adhering to boat limits.​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Western Region
Northern Bass Strait
Mainland Tasmania, islands in the Western Region, Flinders, Cape Barren and Bruny​ Islands including homes, shacks and vehicles​
​On land - 2
On state waters - 0
Child under 10
Special Rock Lobster Licence (Western Region and Mainland Tasmania Only)
- During the 14 day period, you are not allowed to fish in the Eastern Region.
​15 (for 14 days)
  • * Extended or overnight tripIf you are on State waters with more than the daily b​ag limit, you must prove you have fished for more than one day​. 
  • * Transiting: Fishers transiting from west to east must comply with Eastern Region bag limits before passing Whale Head or Point Sorell. See below for more information on transiting.
  • What can I use as bait​? ​

Recreational rock lobster bag and possession limits

Illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Setting gear at season opening​ and transiting areas​

You can only possess a rock lobster pot on State fishing 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 during closed seasons

During the closed season for a region, or part of a region (eg. the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone) recreational fishers cannot, in the closed area:
  • possess rock lobster or rock lobster pots or rings, or
  • travel by water with rock lobster or rock lobster gear aboard to access open waters.

This has been in place for several years for resource management purposes.

East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone

Check the ECSRZ boundary maps.

For those in the south, you can launch and retrieve from Southport and Cockle Creek with rock lobster gear aboard but not return through the ECSRZ until that area opens.

In the north, you can launch at Eddystone Point and head northwards with rock lobster gear aboard but not go southward through the ECSRZ until that area opens.

Transiting bi​otoxin zones - Eastern Region

You can transit through closed rock lobster biotoxin zones to fish in opern waters for example: after the season opens in the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone, you can transit with rock lobster gear and rock lobsters through a biotoxin zone which is still closed for biotoxin reasons. You can also have a rock lobster pot in a closed Biotoxin Zone from 6am on the day before the season opens.

In a closed biotoxin zone you cannot:

  • take rock lobster;
  • dive for lobster, be in the water and possess rock lobster; or
  • set pots or rings.
Provided the Eastern Region season (or parts thereof) are open, fishers can transit back from the Western Region to the Eastern Region open areas with rock lobster providing they comply with Eastern Region bag limits before proceeding past Whale Head or Point Sorell.

​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 rendered insensible.

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).

For more information see the RSPCA Guidelines.

More information

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​


    Recreational Fishing Enquiries
    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
    Hobart TAS 7000
    Phone: 03 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


    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