pinungana (Fish)
In palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines, with thanks to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

Thyrsites atun (Barracouta)


2021/22 Barracouta Status (Released March 24)

Stock Status UNDEFINED
Summary Catches of Barracouta have declined steadily since the mid-2000s, presumably due to a decrease in targeted effort resulting from a lack of market demand as well as possible impacts of environmental change. Low levels of fishing effort mean that catch and CPUE data are unreliable indicators of biomass and stock status. However, historic catches were substantial and, thus, there is insufficient information to confidently classify the stock.
Importance Minor
Stock Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery
Indicator(s) Catch, effort and CPUE trends; risk assessment of recruitment impairment
Managing Jurisdiction State (Tasmania)


Barracouta is a predatory, schooling species that inhabits coastal bays and open ocean as deep as 550 m. This species is widely distributed in temperate latitudes of the southern hemisphere (Edgar 2008), including southern Australia. Barracouta was an historically important fishery species in Tasmania, with a large commercial troll fishery operating in the 1960s and 1970s when catches ranged between 600 and 1600 t per year (Kailola et al. 1993). Market demand for barracouta is assumed to have declined substantially in the mid-1970s, such that current catches are considered unlikely to reflect biomass. With relatively minimal catch and effort, current management restrictions of commercial barracouta fishing are limited to the requirement of a scalefish fishing licence.

The full 2021/22 Scalefish Assessment, released March 2024, can be found at the link:

Latest Scalefish Assessment

Learn more about what each stock status classification means on our Stock Status Classifications Information Page:

Stock Status Classifications

Learn more about fisheries terms and concepts on our Science Information page:

Science Terms and Concepts

Scalefish Fishery

Catch, Effort and CPUE

Risk-Based Framework

Social and Economic Indicators