Gloomy Octopus

Octopus gloomy
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit5


possession limit10


boat limit-

(octopus species combined)

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

common Sydney octopus

Scientific name

Octopus tetricus

Grows to

Up to

80cm mantle length

Identifying features

​This large octopus has a grey to mottled brown body with orange to red colouration under the arm. The iris of the eyes is normally white which tends to distinguish this species from other local octopuses. It can raise large rounded projections on its skin. The female of this species has been known to cannibalise the male following mating.


They cannot be taken by a specialised octopus pot or trap.


Found around reef areas from 0-50 in depth.

Fishing information

The gloomy octopus is a relatively new species in Tasmania where it can be found hiding in caves and crevices. It can be caught by recreational fishers in a similar manner to other octopus species including by hand, gaff, line, net, bait trap or in rock lobster pots and rings.


Octopus are very strong animals even when relatively small. Be cautious when handling any octopus as they will instinctively latch onto your body and be difficult to dislodge. The mouth or beak at the centre point of the arms can inflict a painful bite.


Octopus has low oil content and a delicious mild flavour. Its texture is similar to squid but denser. Most cooks prefer to tenderise it, then skin it. Suitable to bake, barbecue, fry and simmer.


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