SFF Tasmania – Draft Policy

Recreational Sea Fisheries Policy


Recreational sea fishing in Tasmania has been occurring for generations and is very much entrenched in the Tasmania way of life and is cultural  to many Tasmanians who chose to Fish.

Close to 100000 Tasmanians fish each year.

Most Tasmanians and  SFF Tasmania believe the freedom to go fishing is a not only a way of life but a right for the recreational sea angler in Tasmania.

SFF Tasmania must support all Tasmanian anglers in particular recreational sea fishers from environmental concerns such as climate change and invasive species, commercial overfishing of key species, excessive fish farming practices and exploitation from foreign interests and ownership.

The Tasmanian sea fishery is in essence a “ resource share fishery” primarily between the commercial sector and recreational sea fishers. SFF Tasmania acknowledges that at times species allocation to each sector within the resource is not always fair and is often very one sided and weighted heavily in favour of the commercial fisher.

SFF Tasmania although understanding to the plight of commercial fishers and their families believes this must stop and a more equitable guaranteed slice of the resource awarded to the recreational sea fisher in Tasmania.

SFF believes in healthy, viable and sustainable sea fisheries not the current state of affairs where indeed most of our key species have the status are overfished and  “ depleted“,  “depleting”, or “undefined” in biomass status as we presently have. SFF Tas  would like to see a total turn around though sound scientific management of the various fisheries that are suffering and steer them into recovering and ultimately a return to “sustainable” for all key fish species.

Understandings from SFF – Tasmania

SFF Tasmania understands the plight of the Tasmanian recreational angler and according to the IMAS Tasmanian Scalefishery Assessment 2018-19 we acknowledge the following about some of our key recreational fish species:


Tiger Flathead, Australian Sardine, Australian Salmon, Gould’s Squid, Jack Mackeral, Jackass Morwong, Yellow Eye Mullet, Snook, Eastern School Whiting, Wrasse


Striped Trumper,


Sand Flathead, Southern Calamari


Bastard Trumpeter, Blue Warehou, Southern Garfish


Barracoua, Flounder, Leather Jacket, Long Snouted Boarfish.

SFF – Tasmania would also like to add Southern Rock Lobster and the Tasmanian Scallop and the Tuna families to our list of fisheries that will need further attention and lobbying in order to rebuild key fiheries-  meanwhile guaranteeing access to these fisheries for the Tasmania recreational sea fisher.

We propose :

On behalf of Our Marine Environment

  • To ALWAYS lobby for a healthy marine environment
  • To ALWAYS lobby for healthy recreational fish populations.
  • To ALWAYS lobby for sensible change with our sea fisheries in regards to climate change.
  • Address climate change and the effects it may be having on our recreational sea fishery.
  • To address the known problem of inadequate policing of our marine resources both on land and at sea
  • Via for funding for extra policing of our recreational marine resource.
  • To lobby for all round healthier sea fisheries In particular but not limited to the following : Depleting or Depleted or Undefined ( IMAS 2018-19) key fish species:

(Sth Rock Lobster, Abolone, Sand Flathead,Bastard Trumpeter, Blue Warehou, Southern Garfish Calamari, Greenback Flounder and Tunas, Scallops )

  • Address the known shortage in adequate Policing of Tasmania’s coastline and sea fisheries regulation.
  • Resist any closures due to a proposed MPA to any recreationally significant pieces of coastline around Tasmania.
  • Resist any further reclassification in Status of existing MPAs that further restrict recreational fishing.
  • To protect all facets of recreational sea fishing that are proven to be sustainable OR low impact through proper science and management.

Ongoing Issues (Still not Addressed over many Govts and many decades)

  • To lobby the turnaround of the “depleted status” or “depleting “ statuses” in key sea fish species as stated above but In particular :

Sth Rock Lobster

Sand Flathead

Sth Calamari ( North Coast and East Coast fisheries In particular)

Striped Trumpeter

Bastard Trumleter

Blue Warehou


Scallops families

Resource Share of Sth Rock Lobster

TO STRIVE for returning Southern Rock Lobster to at least 50% of the original biomass.

Lobby for a guaranteed Statewide 170T TARC ( Total Allowable Recreational Catch ) with a minimum recreational share and TARC  increasing as the resource builds. Steering away from the present arrangements for this specie where by the TARC is not guaranteed or indicative to the catch being made, ie , not increasing as the fishery rebuilds and is in reality not reflecting that only 30% of the TARC is being caught but regulated as though 100% is being caught.

Halt any further reductions to the Sth Rock Lobster daily bag limit.

Furthermore we seek a guarantee moving into the future,  of being of being able to take Recreational Sth Rock Lobster…  without further restriction on such a small % of the TARC we are allocated presently.

We would like to see acknowledgement from Govt that the Rec sector is still only catching a fraction of what they are legislated to catch under the Statewide TARC  and increases in catch being seen is to be expected and simply a healthy sign as the fishery rebuilds not a sign of an expanding Recreational angling sector .

Allow for a flexible daily bag limit from year to year if necessary depending on stocks (which should be healthy or building) from the  guaranteed base line above of a two fish daily bag limit. Bag limits moving into the future are not to drop below 2 fish per day and the expectation is for for this to increase as the Rock Lobster biomass rebuilds.

Increase fishing opportunity and lobby for a reintroduction of the recently closed traditional Recreational Rock Lobster winter fishery.

Address transisting from Rock Lobster Zone to Rock Lobster Zone. For instance the East Coast Recreation Rock Lobster Zone to that of the West Coast Rock Lobster Zone and move to have this made possible on WATER where it is presently not. This can only be achieved by funding increased on water Policing .

Sand Flathead

To reverse the trend of declining Sand Flathead numbers around the State by again looking at resource share arrangements presently in place.

Foreign Ownership of Our Fisheries

To Lobby for a cessation or immediate cap of foreign ownership of our Commonwealth and State fisheries resources.  In particular Rock Lobster and Abolone and fish farm busineses.

*This is precautionary but does have the scope under foreign influence to place even more pressure on our already heavily fished resources.*

On Behalf of Tasmanian Anglers

  • To ensure recreational sea fishing remains a right for those Tasmanians who choose to partake in this activity.
  • To lobby and stand up for any angler currently using a legal fishing practice in Tasmania. (We are all in this together and we shouldn’t be divided as anglers).
  • To increase Recreational sea fishing opportunity for all.
  • To address the continual decline over many changes in Govts in daily bag limits, loss of fish habitat, and through proper management and rebuilding of stocks of any key fishery – seek to pave the way for bag limits to increase over time.
  • To resist the introduction and seek a guarantee that a marine recreational scale fish licence will never come into existence – recreational sea fishing is a way of life for many Tasmanians – starting in many cases from a very young age.

SFF Website:  https://www.shootersfishersandfarmers.org.au