elephant fish
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit2


possession limit4


boat limit-

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

elephant fish, elephant shark, ghost shark

Scientific name

Callorhinchus milii

Grows to

Up to

1.5 metres and 9 kg

Identifying features

​An unusual silvery fish with dark spots along the flank.  It has a hoe-shaped structure on its snout tip used to forage for food on muddy bottoms.  There is a single paired gill opening unlike most sharks as well as large, paddle-like pectoral fins and silvery scaleless skin.

​​Rules ​

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


Elephantfish are bottom dwelling fish that live over the sand and mud of the continental shelf in depths to 200 metres.  They will migrate into inshore bays and inlets around Tasmania in late summer to breed.​

Fishing Information 

A good fighting fish increasingly targeted by recreational fishers who appreciate its good eating qualities.  Caught by rod and line and longlines using baits such as pilchards, fresh or frozen squid.  Occasionally taken in gillnets.​


This fish has a large spine in its first dorsal fin which is best avoided. They have crushing plates instead of teeth so be careful when removing the hook.​


Keeping fillets in the fridge overnight improves their eating quality.  Often done in batter as fish and chips.

Recipe: Debra’s Healthy Fish Fingers

Firm fish fillets such as elephantfish are best for this recipe but it works on any fish. What you get are flavoured fish fingers - great for kids!

Cut fish fillets into 2 cm thick strips.  Dip each fillet into a favourite sauce such as chilli or BBQ sauce and then roll in egg and breadcrumbs and shallow fry in olive oil until cooked or alternatively oven bake. Chilli sauces with extras such as garlic make it a little more exotic!​​


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