Spearfishing in NSW


Spearfishing in NSW is a popular form of recreational fishing and has been recognised for its selective fishing practices. Spearfishers in NSW are required to pay the NSW recreational fishing fee.

Please note: All inland waters are closed to spearfishing as well as various areas along the coast. For further information please visit the spearfishing closures page or view the recreational spearfishing primefact. For any enquirers relating to spearfishing safety and education in public areas please visit the spearfishing safety education action plan. For other enquiries about restrictions, contact at your local NSW DPI Fisheries office or phone 1300 550 474.

The same rules and regulations regarding bag and size limits apply to spearfishers, including the following:


  • You may use a snorkel when taking fish
  • SCUBA (for scallops and sea urchins only)
  • Bare/gloved hand only to take lobsters


  • Hookah apparatus
  • A light with a spear/spear-gun
  • Spear/speargun to take blue, brown or red groper or any protected fish
  • Power heads and explosive devices
  • Spearfishing on ocean beaches (except the last 20 m at each end of the beach)
  • Many entrances, coastal lagoons and other tidal waters are closed to spearfishing.

DPI Fisheries promotes responsible spearfishing in NSW at all times, including the following on the DPI website:

  • Keep your spear tip covered on land.
  • Do not carry a loaded speargun through crowded areas.
  • Keep at least 50m away from swimmers, snorkellers, scuba divers and other fishers.
  • Respect other water users.
  • Know the rules, including areas closed to fishing.
  • Respect all marine life.

People wishing to go spearfishing offshore for many of the popular pelagic species should check out the FADs locations and the Code of Conduct for fishing around FADs .