Octopus Fishery Management

Fishery Management

The primary octopus fishery in Tasmania is the targeted Pale Octopus (Octopus pallidus) fishery operating in Bass Strait waters under fishing licence (octopus), known as the Tasmanian Octopus Fishery (TOF). The Scalefish Fishery Management Plan (revised in 2015) provides the management framework for this fishery. Additional octopus catch, including Māori Octopus (Macroctopus maorum) and Gloomy Octopus (Octopus tetricus) is reported as landed by-product within the TOF, the Rock Lobster Fishery, and the Scalefish Fishery, with some Māori Octopus catch from a targeted hand-collection fishery in Eaglehawk Bay.

Octopus fishing zones, Tasmanian Octopus Fishery.

Management SystemDescription
Fishing MethodAccess provided to holders of fishing licence (octopus) or developmental permit, a vessel licence and a scalefish (or rock lobster) licence. Trip limit of 100 kg if not the holder of a fishing licence (octopus) or developmental permit.
Octopus licencesTwo licences issued for the operation of two vessels. Developmental permits vary annually in number, permitted fishing area, and gear.
Management MethodInput control:
– Fishing licence (octopus) allows the use of 10,000 pots (maximum of 1,000 pots per line) to target Octopus pallidus, Octopus tetricus and Macroctopus maorum.
– Fishing zone restriction (East and West Bass Strait Octopus zones only).
Main MarketTasmania and mainland Australia.

Details on the current management controls for the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery, under which the Tasmanian Octopus Fishery is managed, is provided on the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE, Tas) website at the link: