New rules resulting from the scalefish review will apply from November 1st 2009.
All changes are reflected in the 2009-10 Recreational Sea Fishing Guide and on new fish measuring rulers which are available at Service Tasmania outlets and most bait and tackle shops.
Set Line licence: A licence is now required to use any set line. A set line is either a dropline or a longline, with up to 30 hooks. A person may only use one set line at a time.
Gillnets: Gillnets may only be set for a maximum of 2 hours in Shark Refuge Areas and a maximum of 6 hours applies in other waters. Night netting in Macquarie Harbour is the only exception.
Possession limits: There have been changes in possession limits for the following species:
Striped trumpeter: the overall possession limit remains at 8, however an on water possession limit of 4 fish applies.
Blue eye trevalla: the overall possession limit remains at 8, however an on water possession limit of 5 fish applies.
Southern calamari: the possession limit remains at 15 except in south east waters where an on water possession limit of 10 applies. The annual spawning closure has been reduced from 10 weeks to 1 month (15 October to 14 November inclusive for both 2009 and 2010).
Bastard trumpeter: the possession limit is now 10 fish.
Snapper: a possession limit of 5 snapper has been introduced.
Yellowtail kingfish: a possession limit of 5 yellowtail kingfish has been introduced.
Elephantfish: there is a possession limit of 2 elephantfish and this species no longer included within the shark possession limit or boat limit.
Size limits: There have been changes to the minimum size limits of the following species:
Striped trumpeter: the minimum size limit for striped trumpeter is now 500 mm.
Bastard trumpeter: the minimum size limit for bastard trumpeter is now 380 mm.
Snapper: new minimum size limit is 300 mm.
Striped Trumpeter: In addition to size and possession limit changes, additional changes include the introduction of a closed season from 1 September 2010 to 31 October 2010, inclusive. Striped trumpeter must either be landed whole with head and tail attached or as two fillets with the frames (including head and tail).
Port Sorell and Ansons Bay: Are now closed to commercial scalefishing with the exception of two commercial fishers holding an endorsement for Port Sorell until they retire from the fishery.
In addition to the rule changes detailed, the Minister has directed the Department to investigate the following issues in the recreational fishery prior to the next Scalefish Review.
Number of hooks for set lines
The number of hooks currently allowed (30) for set lines may see more fish taken than is permitted by the on water possession limits. Potentially, excess fish may be dumped, wasted or even illegally retained. There is particular concern for the stock status of striped trumpeter and wastage of species such as blue eye trevalla.
Over the next few years, information on the use of set lines will be reviewed and appropriate measures considered to tailor the number of set line hooks used to the existing bag limits.
Net free areas
Reducing the length of time gillnets are set, checking for fish regularly and attending nets is extremely important to minimise wildlife interactions and the taking of non-target species.
Future policy directions will consider possible new no netting areas to protect bastard trumpeter to address concerns about the stock status of this species.
A risk management approach to reduce wildlife interactions, particularly for seabirds is warranted. Considerations will include targeted education and awareness campaigns and legislative measures including further netting restrictions in specified areas.
Future educational programs will provide information on appropriate practices to use when setting and retrieving fishing gear and methods for minimising interactions with wildlife.
Check the 2009-10 Recreational Sea Fishing Guide for all information about Tasmanian recreational fishing rules as at 1 November 2009 including changes resulting from the Scalefish Review. These changes include new size and possession limits, licensing and netting requirements. The guides, as well as rulers and stickers are available at Service Tasmania and most bait and tackle shops.
2009-10 recreational sea fishing licences are available from all Service Tasmania shops and on the internet at www.fishing.tas.gov.au./licence