Octopus Pale Catch & Effort

Commercial Catch and Effort

Total catch of Pale Octopus from Bass Strait waters by the Tasmanian Octopus Fishery (TOF) has fluctuated substantially with catches between ~60 t and ~130 t since 2003/04. Data from recent years show consistently high total catches with some annual variation (> 100 t). Effort increased during the early 2000s and has fluctuated between ~250,000 and ~450,000 pot lifts since 2007/08. During most years, Pale Octopus catch and effort peak in autumn.

Catch and effort from the Tasmanian Octopus Fishery show an historically focus on the eastern Bass Strait and waters around Flinders Island, with a notable shift west to waters east of King Island in recent years (2019/20 to 2021/22). This shift coincided with peak catches from the fishery. In 2022/23, catch and effort were once again concentrated in the eastern Bass Strait, potentially indicating low productivity elsewhere. However, with only two vessels in operation, fleet behaviour is also likely to be influenced by individual decisions that may be independent of catch rates.

Pale Octopus catch and effort under developmental permits that allow access to Pale Octopus in Tasmanian state waters not encompassed by the TOF are consistently low. Reported data are available since 2016/17; catch has been < 10 t (mostly < 5 t) and effort < 35,000 pot lifts. Given these data are negligible, they are not presented here.