Shark Refuge Areas

Shark Refuge Areas are important breeding habitat for many shark species (especially school and gummy sharks), skates, and rays. Specific rules apply in these areas.

Shark Refuge Area map

Shark Refuge Areas in Tasmania.

Rules in Shark Refuge Areas

  • No shark, skate or ray of any kind (other than elephantfish) may be taken in Shark Refuge Areas.
  • You are not allowed to target  sharks, skates or rays in Shark Refuge Areas, even with intention to catch and release. Any accidental catches must be returned to the water as soon as possible.
    • Note: Excessive handling or time out of water (e.g. taking time to stop and take photos) may be considered a failure to return the fish to the water as soon as possible.
  • Using set lines and auxiliary fishing gear is prohibited in Shark Refuge Areas.
  • Using mullet nets is prohibited in Shark Refuge Areas and other netting restrictions may apply.
  • Where permitted, gillnets may only be set for up to 2 hours and licence holders must be within 50 m of their nets at all times.
  • You may carry sharks, skates or rays through a Shark Refuge Area if they were taken outside that area.

Why is catch and release not allowed in Shark Refuge Areas?

Many sharks, rays and skates are long-lived, slow to mature and may only give birth to a small number of live young. Excessive handling or time out of water (e.g. by stopping to take photos) may affect breeding success.


Shark Refuge Area sign

If you see this sign, you are in a Shark Refuge Area. Not all Shark Refuge Areas are signed, so make sure to look up the rules for your fishing spot before dropping a line.​


Shark Refuge Areas locations

Shark Refuge Areas include: 

  • ​Blackman Bay 
  • Derwent River
  • Frederick Henry Bay and Norfolk Bay 
  • D'Entrecasteaux Channel 
  • Georges Bay 
  • Great Oyster Bay 
  • East Coast Waters 
  • Mercury Passage 
  • Port Sorell 
  • kanamaluka/Tamar River​​

​​See the interactive map below for Shark Refuge Area locations.


    Contact

    Recreational Fishing Enquiries
    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
    Hobart TAS 7000
    Phone: 03 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
    Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

    Hotline

    Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

    0427 655 557

    What to report? arrow button

    Contact us

    Recreational Fishing

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    Hobart TAS 7000

    Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

    Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

    Commercial Fisheries

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    GPO Box 44

    Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

    Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

    Commercial Fisheries Licensing

    Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

    GPO Box 44

    Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

    Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au