Southern Sand Flathead

Southern Sand Flathead
Platycephalus bassensis

Illustration©R.Swainston/anima.fish

2020/21 Southern Flathead Status (Released Dec 22)

Stock Status DEPLETED
Summary Recreational catches dominate landings of Southern Sand Flathead in Tasmania. Fishery independent surveys suggest low abundances of legal sized fish in southeast and eastern Tasmania where populations are subject to heavy fishing pressure. While undersized fish appear to be abundant, newly introduced length-based assessment approaches indicate that female stock biomass is likely to be depleted in most regions. Moreover, current levels of fishing pressure are unlikely to be sustainable, specifically where stock rebuilding is likely to be most urgently needed.
Importance Key
Stock Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery
Indicator(s) Catch, effort and CPUE trends
Managing Jurisdiction State (Tasmania)

Background

Southern Sand Flathead inhabit sheltered, shallow, coastal waters, typically over sand or silt (Edgar 2008). This is the most important species in the Tasmanian recreational fishery, with the most recent estimate of recreational harvest representing 98% of the total catch for that season (2017/18) (Lyle et al. 2019). Commercially, Southern Sand Flathead are caught primarily by handline, with some by-catch in the gillnet and Danish seine fisheries. The stock status for this species was classified as Depleting in the last two Scalefish Fishery stock assessments (Fraser et al. 2021).

The full 2020/21 Scalefish Assessment, released Dec 2022, 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

Regulations

Catch, Effort and CPUE

Risk-Based Framework

Social and Economic Indicators