TAS Fishing Rules

Fishing in Australian salt and fresh waters is governed by state rules and regulations and must be strictly followed as these laws are in place to ensure fisheries are ecologically sustainable. This guide touches on the rules and regulations for recreational fishing in Tasmania.


In Tasmania, the Department of Primary Industries and Water (DPIW) is the agency responsible for managing the State’s marine waters. The DPIW is structured into seven divisions including the Primary Industries division. This division incorporates the Wild Fisheries Management Branch which is responsible for marine fisheries. The Inland Fisheries Service on the other hand has jurisdiction over fishing in defined inland waters, including freshwater fishing and freshwater aquaculture. The major focus for the management of freshwater recreational fisheries by the Inland Fisheries Service is trout and salmon.


Please use this article as a guide only and take the time to find out more about recreational fishing rules and regulations in Tasmania.

Recreational Fishing in TAS

A licence is not required to fish with a rod and line in marine waters in Tasmania but an Inland Fisheries licence is required for any fishing in inland waters, which includes some estuaries and river mouths. For recreational activities such as beach seine or gill netting, diving for abalone, rock lobster and scallops, then a Recreational Sea Fishing Licence must be sought. For more information, please click Recreational Sea Fishing Licences

Protected Species

There are a number of fish and other aquatic species that are protected in Tasmania and must not be taken for any reason. If by chance, they are accidently caught whilst fishing, you must return them to the water carefully and immediately regardless of whether they are alive or dead. Handfish, pipefish and seahorses are some species listed as protected and must not be taken.

There are many endangered and vulnerable fish species that are on Tasmania's Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. Many of these species are also protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2000. These species must not be taken without a permit for any reason and if accidently caught, please carefully return it to the water with as little damage as possible. Please contact the Threatened Species Unit on: (03) 6233 8759 if the species is injured, dead or entangled in fishing gear. For the full list of threatened fish, please click Threatened Species List - Fish

Bag Limit and Possession Limit

There are various reasons for having bag limits and possession limits and these rules are needed to ensure enough mature fish species can continue to breed and to discourage illegal fishing sales. Bag limits also help to share the State’s fishing resources equally among anglers and to ensure the catch is not wasted. In other words, you should only take what you need for a feed and do not overfish unnecessarily.

In regards to scalefish, daily bag limits do not apply and have been replaced by a personal possession limit for each species. The possession limits do apply everywhere and this includes your place of residence. Unless otherwise stated, a personal possession limit of 15 fish applies for any species. For more information on possession limits, click Bag and Possession Limits or Fish Fact Sheets - Species Information

Fishing Closures

Fishing seasonal closures are in place to ensure particular species can successfully spawn or breed. This greatly helps to preserve breeding stock for future generations. Spawning times can change from year to year, so the closed seasons will typically coincide with these times. In regard to recreational fishing area restrictions (including netting and other scalefishing gear), there are twelve regions created for the state of Tasmania, with each region having its own restrictions. For information on the twelve regions, click Recreational Fishing Area Restrictions

More Fishing Rules

There are more rules and regulations in place such as legal size limits (minimum and maximum), fish that have been filleted, bait species and for other species such as abalone and lobster. Please note that taking species such as abalone, scallops and lobster requires a recreational sea fishing licence.

It is important to follow the size laws for fish as well as other aquatic species. Minimum and maximum size laws are in place to ensure the species will reach sexual maturity and therefore have a chance to reproduce. If for some reason an undersized fish is caught, then you must carefully and immediately return it to the water so it is given the best possible chance of survival.

Comments & Reviews

Post a Comment

Page Stats

Created: May 2008
Latest Feedback: September 2009

Sponsored Links