Maori Octopus

Octopus maori
© 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.

Stock status


Other names

octopus, New Zealand octopus

Scientific name

Octopus maorum

Grows to

Up to

30cm mantle lenght, 1 metre total length and 10kg

Identifying features

A large octopus with reddish to orange-brown colouration, white spots, an oval shaped body and large eyes. The tentacles are long and muscular. The body is covered in large dimples or skin patches giving a spiky appearance.


Occurs around shallow inshore reef areas out to deeper reef shelf areas up to 60 metres deep. Lives in rock crevices or forms burrows.

Fishing information

Octopus are usually taken by hand, gaff, line, net, bait trap or in rock lobster pots and rings. A popular recreational fishery for this large species exists in Eaglehawk Bay on the Tasman Peninsula when the moon and tide conditions are right. A predator of rock lobster, it is often taken in lobster pots.


Handle with caution as octopus have a mouth or beak at the centre point of its arms that 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. Popular pickled in the Greek style.

Recipe: Marinated Octopus Greek Style:

1 prepared octopus approx 1 kg, cut into bite sized pieces; 1 cup red wine vinegar; 1 tsp dried oregano or fresh oregano; ¼ cup sugar; 1 tsp salt; 1 lemon cut into 8 pieces; ½ cup olive oil; 2 tbsp lemon juice; lettuce leaves, black olives, cucumber slices, tomato wedges.

Place octopus in large glass jar. Bring vinegar, oregano, sugar and salt to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over octopus, add lemon and oil. Marinate for 24 hours. Drain well and toss in oil and lemon juice. Place in lettuce leaves and decorate with black olives, cucumber slices and tomato wedges.


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


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