white ear
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit5


possession limit10


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

white ear scalyfin

Scientific name

Parma microlepis

Grows to

Up to


Identifying features

​This small, deep bodied fish is named for the definite white blotch on the side of the head which clearly stands out against the darker body colour of yellowish brown to purple. Juveniles are more brightly coloured with neon blue lines which fade to dots as the fish matures. White-ear have very distinct rough scales. See illustrations of both adult and juvenile above.


White-ear form large schools around reef areas from 0 to 30 metres in depth. They are more common in northern Tasmania and highly territorial. Males will vigorously defend their territory during the breeding season.

Fishing information

Mostly likely encountered as bycatch in gillnets, they are normally released due to being too small to be retained as food. They are very hardy and will live for extended periods if taken in a gillnet.


White-ear have little to no slime covering and rough scales they can easily be returned to the water by wet hands.


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