Draughtboard Shark

draughtboard shark
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit2


possession limit4


boat limit5

Bag and possession limits are for sharks and rays other than school, gummy, mako, blue, or elephantfish combined. Boat limit is for all shark and ray species combined, excluding elephantfish.

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size

Measure shark species either from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, or for headed and tailed shark, from the back gill slit to the base of the tail. More information.

Other names

swell shark, nutcracker shark, rock shark, sleepy joe

Scientific name

Cephaloscyllium laticeps

Grows to

Up to

1.5 metres

Identifying features

​Brown to grey on the back with irregular darks spots with white on the belly.  The head is short and broad and there are two dorsal fins.

​​​​Area restrictions

Do not take in shark refuge areas. Research suggests that gummy sharks are being heavily fished, so area restrictions to protect this species and school shark are extremely important.


The dorsal and pectoral fins must remain attached to all shark until they are landed.​​


This shark is found in both shallower coastal waters and deep offshore waters from 3-60 metres depth.  They are common around Tasmanian reefs, and also over sand and seagrass areas.

Fishing Information

Often considered a nuisance species by recreational fishers although there is increasing interest in it as a flake substitute.  They will readily enter rock lobster pots, damaging rock lobster catch, as well as taking the baits of line fishers and becoming entangled in nets.  They are hardy sharks capable of living out of water for extended periods of time.


All shark species should be handled carefully. Although draughtboard sharks have small teeth, they have a tendency to bite down on anything placed in their jaws and then rolling and twisting their body.


They produce small white fillets and can be prepared in a manner similar to flake.​


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