Red Handfish

Handfish red
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Protected Species: do not take!

bag limit0


possession limit0


boat limit0

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Protected species

Do not take!

Other names

Scientific name

Thymichthys politus

Grows to

Up to


Identifying features

​There are two colourations of this rare handfish, one bright red with blueish white tipped fins and a variant with a mottled yellowish pink body with distinct red-tipped fins and spots. As the name suggests, this small fish prefers to walk across the sea floor with its arm-like pectoral fins although they can swim over small distances if threatened. They feed primarily on small crustaceans and worms.


Found in 0-2-m water depth. Once found across south-eastern Tasmania, only two small populations of red handfish near Hobart now survive. They only produce 30-60 eggs at a time with females standing guard over them.  The eggs are attached to standing structures and once hatched, the juveniles tend to remain close to the area where they were born. Juvenile hatchlings look similar to the adults.


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 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550