Gummy Shark

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

bag limit2


possession limit2


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

75cm or 45cm headed and tailed
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

gummy, southern gummy shark, grey gummy shark, flake, sweet William

Scientific name

Mustelus antarcticus

Grows to

Up to

Females 175cm, males 145cm. Up to 40kg

Identifying features

​Gummy shark are bronze to grey with small white spots along the body and a pale belly. There are two dorsal fins of a similar size.

​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.


Gummy sharks are widely distributed around the southern half of Australia including Bass Strait and Tasmania. Found mainly over sandy areas and will come close inshore to beaches at night in search of food items. Can be caught from 2-80m but may go much deeper. Gummy sharks depend on inshore nursery areas including sheltered bays and estuaries as habitat for birthing females and for juveniles.

Fishing information

These sharks are becoming increasingly targeted by anglers fishing at night from beaches around Tasmania. Sturdy fishing gear is required and try baits such as fish flesh or squid. The most popular method for fishing gummy sharks in Tasmania is by longline, their use being almost exclusively to target this species. Occasionally caught from boats by anglers fishing for flathead.


These sharks have flattened teeth that are turned inwards such that the points and edges are not exposed, hence their name ‘gummy’ sharks. All large sharks should be handled carefully as they tend to thrash about when landed.


The flesh is firm and tasty though it should be well bled. Keeping fillets in fridge overnight improves their eating quality.

Recipe: Sesame Baked Flake:

1 kg flake fillets; salt and pepper; ½ cup melted butter; 2 cups soft breadcrumbs; ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds.

Place fish in shallow greased baking dish. Sprinkle with salt. Combine breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, butter and season to taste. Spoon over fish. Bake in moderate oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes.


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