Southern Garfish

Southern Garfish

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

Hyporhamphus melanochir (Southern Garfish)


2021/22 Southern Garfish Status (Released March 24)

Stock Status DEPLETED
Summary Both catch and effort data for Southern Garfish showed an overall declining trend in recent years with the exception of the Northeast region exhibiting a recent increase. CPUE has fluctuated substantially but shows a recently reversing trend back to higher levels. However, given the schooling nature of the species, CPUE is unlikely to be a reliable proxy of biomass. Data-limited stock assessment methods suggest that recovery of the population under current levels of catch is theoretically possible, but empirical evidence of recovery is lacking.
Importance Key
Stock Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery
Indicator(s) Catch, effort and CPUE trends; changes in size/age composition
Managing Jurisdiction State (Tasmania)


Southern Garfish is endemic to southern Australia and inhabits shallow (≤20 m) inshore waters in association with seagrass beds (Gomon et al. 2008). Southern Garfish is a schooling species, feeding near the surface at night. Beach seine fishing in the northeast and around Flinders Island has landed the highest catches of Southern Garfish since the mid-1990s. Dip net fishing on the southeast and east coasts was important in the late 1990s and early 2000s but this has since declined. Following the introduction of dip-nets, catches have also increasingly been taken over the summer months. Currently, Garfish on the northeast coast are caught mostly by beach seine while on the southeast and east coasts they are caught mainly by dip-nets.

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

Catch Only Approach

Social and Economic Indicators