Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
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.
calamari, squid, southern reef squid
The southern calamari has arms, head and body similar to a squid but the side fins extend around the mantle rather than being arrow shaped. They are capable of rapid colour changes from orange-brown to white and transparent depending on mood and environment.
Small calamari can double in size in just a few weeks so voluntarily release small calamari with a mantle length less than 20cm. To do this, take the jig in your hand and invert it, allowing the calamari to fall back into the water. They can be damaged easily with poor handling.
Closed seasons: East Coast - from 15 October-14 November inclusive each year in defined East Coast waters area. North Coast - closed from 23 September-31 October inclusive.
seasons page for up to date information.
seasonal squid and calamari closure area includes all waters south from Lemon Rock (south of Wineglass Bay) to the northern end of Marion Beach (south of Maria Island) including Coles Bay, Great Oyster Bay and Mercury Passage. The
north coast closure area is from Cape Grim east to Cape Naturaliste.
Common over reef areas, sand and seagrass beds in shallow coastal waters around Tasmania, commonly in waters from 0-10 metres depth. Calamari tend to form large aggregations during spawning in spring and summer hence the closures during this period to protect breeding stock when they are most vulnerable.
Calamari are caught using squid jigs or baited squid lures. Fishers use a jigging or casting action from boats and jetties or off rocks. Often caught under lights around jetties at night. An incoming or high tide is ideal and the presence of small patches of seagrass increases the chance of being successful. Popular fishing spots include Stanley Wharf, Low Head, Petal Point, Eddystone Point, Coles Bay, Triabunna and Pirates Bay. Black ink sprays on rocks and fishing platforms are a good indicator of a well-used fishing area. Calamari are voracious feeders eating krill, fish and other squid. They have rapid growth rates and live only for about 12 months.
Caution as calamari have a beak or mouth that can inflict a painful bite as well as the ability to squirt ink.
Calamari is tender when properly cooked with a delicate flavour. It has low oil content and a firm white texture. Prepare as whole hoods, tentacles or in rings or strips. Popular deep-fried. Can also be marinated.
Recipe: Marinated Calamari Rings
500g calamari rings, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, crushed, 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
Drop calamari into rapidly boiling water, reduce heat, simmer gently until tender. Combine lemon juice and oil, add to calamari, mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight. Next day, add garlic and parsley to marinade and leave to stand for 2 hours. Serve as an appetiser.
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