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Recreational fishing rule definitions

Bag limit


Bag limit is the maximum number of fish per person per day. A maximum daily bag limit of 20 applies to any fish or invertebrate not included in the bag & size limit tables.

Daily bag limits are one of the key tools for managing recreational fishing. They limit the number of fish that an individual angler can catch and keep in a 24 hour period.

Bag limits are typically put in place for a number of biological and social reasons including:

  • conserving fish stocks
  • sharing the catch between recreational fishers and other users
  • encouraging responsible and ethical use of fisheries resources
  • assisting in reducing illegal fish sales
  • protecting threatened or vulnerable species

Bag limits apply to all forms of recreational fishing for fish and invertebrates, including line fishing, spearfishing, hand gathering, prawn scooping, drag netting, bait collection, and the use of crab traps, nets and lobster pots.

Possession limit

A possession limit is the maximum number of fish that a person is allowed to have in their possession at any time. Possession limits provide a useful tool to discourage illegal sales of fish by constraining recreational fishers from accumulation commercial quantities of fish. For all saltwater species except; Australian Bass and Estuary Perch, Flathead (except Dusky), Bream and Tarwhine, Tailor, Luderick, Trevallies and Blue Swimmer Crab, the daily bag limit is also the possession limit.

Boat limits

Boat limits aim to limit the catch of anglers fishing in the same boat over a 24 hour period. These apply regardless of the number of people in the boat. Boat limits are intended to limit the overall recreational fishing catch and prevent the circumvention of personal daily bag limits by individual fishers through the carrying of non-fishing passengers in a boat. At present, the only boat limit applies to gemfish (10 fish).