Securing Tasmania’s Future by Protecting the Tasmanian Way of Life and Recreational Sea Fishing

a majority liberal government will

  • Provide $350,000 over two years towards implementing Tasmania’s first ever 10 Year Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy.
  • Provide $150,000 over two years to extend the East Coast Rock Lobster Translocation Program.
  • Accelerate development of a new East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone Strategy for rock lobster.
  • Provide $400,000 over three years to support peak body TARFish.

This is in addition to our commitment to:

  • Invest $2 million into a new grant fund for new upgrade facilities and amenities for recreational sea fishers.
  • Invest $1 million for inland fishing facility upgrades, make licences free for junior inland anglers, and double the amount of funding for the Tagged Trout Promotion.
  • Stand by our guarantee of no new taxes for recreational fishing in Tasmania.


Recreational fishing is an important part of life for many Tasmanians.

It is a healthy recreational pastime, contributing more than $160 million on accommodation, fuel, bait, tackle, and other equipment, helping our regional communities and small business sector.

The Liberal Government is a strong supporter of our traditional way of life. And we are doing more!

$350,000 over two years towards implementing Tasmania’s first 10 Year Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy

Following consultation with thousands of Tasmanians and over 40 forums State-wide, Tasmania’s first 10 Year Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy has been drafted, outlining a clear vision for our sea fisheries.

The Strategy recognises the importance of key recreational sea fisheries, including abalone and rock lobster.

It seeks greater involvement from fishers in looking after fish stocks and in determining the future of recreational fishing.

Following final public consultation, a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will implement the Strategy with around 50 Actions including:

  • $250,000 over two years for a Flathead for the Future Program to better understand the stocks, and work with fishers to improve sustainability of this important resource

IMAS reported, based on their 2017-18 fishing survey, that around 2.5 million finfish are caught annually in Tasmania. Of these, approximately 68 per cent are flathead, with 733,000 caught and 948,000 released. A Flathead for the Future Program will involve stock assessment and public education on sustainable harvesting and handling. It will be based on the popular Tuna Champions program, and will involve TARFish, Fishcare volunteers, fishing organisations and clubs.

  • $100,000 over two years to make fishing easier for youth, women and people of all abilities

A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will seek to encourage greater participation in recreational fishing. This initiative will identify and address what limits parts of the community from taking part in recreational fishing, including women, older and younger people, and those living with mobility issues.This will complement the recent commitment of $2 million for sea fishing infrastructure. It will also include $50,000 to revitalise the important Fishcare volunteer initiative to increase the number and diversity of volunteers.

  • Developing harvest strategies for abalone, rock lobster, scallop and key recreational scalefish species to safeguard fish stocks and incorporate recreational fishing goals

This initiative will establish an overall understanding of stock levels which then inform the equitable and sustainable level at which fish can be taken by commercial, recreational and indigenous fishers. It also provides a basis for measuring performance over time so fisheries can be managed for the future.

  • Reviewing the rules to allow catch sharing on the water between fishers.

A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will review current rules to seek to provide improved access to recreational fishing resources for fishing groups, compliant with the fishing rules, for activities such as scallop and rock lobster fishing. It will involve a consultative process with key stakeholders including fishers and police.

  • Promote and increase fisher participation in fisheries research and management processes

This initiative seeks to improve the level of fisher research as well as input into the management of the fisheries. This will include expanded citizen-science programs and increased engagement with bodies including IMAS and the Recreational Fishery Advisory Committee. We will expand fisher participation on a regional basis to ensure those fishers impacted by management decisions have an opportunity to contribute their valuable knowledge.

$150,000 over two years to extend the East Coast Rock Lobster Translocation Program

This builds on the Liberal Government’s previous commitment to move rock lobsters from slower growing south-west waters to faster growing east coast waters and continue successfully rebuilding our east coast lobster fishery for recreational and commercial fishers. It also provides some assistance in combating the destructive Long-spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus).

Accelerate development of a new East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone Strategy for rock lobster

The Liberal government recognises that under the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone Strategy both the recreational and commercial sectors have faced restrictions, but we are now seeing encouraging improvements in rock lobster stock levels. The current Strategy expires in 2023, so a re-elected Majority Liberal Government will accelerate development of the next East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone Strategy, with the goal of enabling increased take arrangements for recreational fishers.

Provide $400,000 over three years to peak body TARFish

A re-elected Majority Liberal Government will support TARFish, the peak recreational fishing body to:

  • Review and implement governance and sustainable funding models.
  • Extend the current funding for two years while the review is undertaken and implemented.
  • Support TARFish to provide information and education services via social media for recreational sea fishers, to complement the Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy.

Current work underway right now:

  • $620,000 from 2018-2022 to the Tasmanian Association of Recreational Fishing (TARFish) to support recreational marine fishers right around Tasmania.
  • $500,000 towards a 30-50 metre extension to the rock breakwater at Coles Bay to provide protection to boat owners in southerly weather.
  • $175,000 to develop a web portal and social media platform for recreational fishers to provide information about boat registration, boat operator licences, specialist fishing licences.
  • $1 million commitment to improve offshore catch opportunities by constructing two artificial reef structures in Tasmanian coastal waters, located in Bass Strat off the north-west coast, and Storm Bay in the south.

Our record in Government:

  • $250,000 for the provision of floating pontoons and boating facilities on the Scamander River
  • $130 000 over two years to expand the St Helens Volunteer Marine Rescue base
  • $250,000 Master Plan for the Bridport foreshore to support the growing number of recreational fishers, with associated upgrades including a new Bridport pier, pontoon access for boaters, boat ramps, parking and launching facilities, improve access to the working port.
  • $440,000 in additional funding to Tasmania’s Volunteer Marine Rescue Unit to ensure ongoing volunteer response coverage, and a further $350,000 for vessel replacement.
  • $700,000 grant fund to improve access to jetties for families, older Tasmanians and those with disability
  • $100,000 new breakwater at Binalong Bay for safer launch and retrieval conditions for all vessels.
  • $200,000 for an extension to the Nubeena Jetty, for improved access for recreational users.
  • Replacement of the Cunningham Street and Talbot Street jetties through the $685,000 commitment to replace derelict jetties around Georges Bay.
  • $450,000 to purchase and install four new Fishing Aggregation Devices – with three deployed for trial in February 2021; two in Great Oyster Bay and one, off St Helens.


The cost of this policy is $900,000 over three years