Recreational marine fisheries news

Spawning closure for east coast calamari and squid

The commercial and recreational southern calamari and squid fisheries will be closed in an area off Tasmania's east coast from 15 October to 14 November (inclusive) to protect southern calamari at their peak spawning time.
Research shows that this area of the east coast includes significant breeding sites where calamari congregate in large numbers. The closure ensures calamari aren't targeted when they are at their most vulnerable.
Prohibiting the take of both Goulds squid (previously known as arrow squid) and southern calamari means calamari aren't inadvertently taken by fishers targeting squid in this area.
The closure applies to all waters south from Lemon Rock (south of Wineglass Bay) to the northern end of Marion Beach (south of Maria Island) and includes Coles Bay, Great Oyster Bay and Mercury Passage.
Seasonal closures of these fisheries in this area have been in place for several years. This year the duration of the closure has been reduced from 10 weeks to 4 weeks following significant structural changes to the commercial calamari fishery.

Rock lobster review
The Department has commenced a review of the rock lobster fishery. Public consultation will take place during the 2009/10 fishing season.
During the review major issues for consideration will be identified. To date, these include:
- The continuing trend of declining lobster stock levels since the post-quota fishery peak in 2005;
- Inshore fishing effort on the south east and east coasts; and
- The risk of long-spined sea urchin barrens spreading on the east coast.
There will be several opportunities for you to provide your views. Initially, a questionnaire will collate initial feedback on major issues affecting the fishery, and then this information will be used to develop a new management plan. In mid to late 2010, the draft plan will be publicly released for further comment.
The questionnaire will be available online from 14th October. To fill it in, please visit: Or if you'd like to receive a questionnaire in the mail, please ring 1300 368 550 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Return your completed questionnaire to: Rock Lobster Review - DPIPWE, PO Box 44, HOBART TAS 7001
The review will help guide the management of the fishery for the next five years so please provide your feedback before 13 December 2009.

Elephant Rock research area boundary extension

The northern boundary of the Elephant Rock Research Area off St Helens will be extended by around 230m from November 1st. The purpose of the extension is to protect large lobsters in the research area where Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute scientists are investigating possible controls of long spined sea urchins.
As for the established area, the extended area will also be closed to commercial and recreational fishing by diving and the use of rock lobster pots or rings for up to three years. However, recreational fishing for scalefish by rod and line is permitted.
The boundary extension will reduce the inadvertent capture of the large research rock lobsters, which initial trial results show, are predating on the destructive introduced sea urchin.
The urchins overgraze on seaweeds and algae on rocky reef areas, which are a key habitat for abalone and rock lobster as well as a nursery area for many scalefish species.
Research indicates that urchin numbers are decreasing in the area and that the released lobsters are ranging toward the extremities of the current designated research area while foraging for food. Some regrowth on the barrens created by the urchins has also been noted.
See the 2009-10 Recreational Sea Fishing Guide for exact coordinates of the boundary extension.

Scallop Season 2010
A short season applies for the D'Entrecasteaux Channel from 1 - 31 July 2010 with a special minimum size limit of 110mm for commercial and queen scallops. A limited season with special size limits is necessary to allow for future seasons by leaving stock for spawning.
All other State waters will be open from the Saturday before Easter, 27 March until 31 July 2010.

Outcomes of the Scalefish Review

The Minister has approved changes to the scalefish rules and these are expected to be publicly released on 15th October.
More information?
- Get a copy of the Recreational Sea Fishing Guide (2009-10 Guide available from Service Tasmania from mid-October) - visit; or - subscribe online to have fishing news information updates emailed. - Phone 1300 368 550 or 03 6233 7042
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