If you catch a finfish or crustacean you must first check that it is of the legal size limit. If the fish is not of the legal size you must return it to the water immediately. Keeping fish stock up to a sustainable level is critically important. Enabling fish to grow to a breeding stage is what keeps our fishing industry healthy. Report any instances where you feel anglers are not abiding by the fish size laws.
How to Measure Finfish
The measurement of a fish is from its snout to the end of its tail.
There are several ways you can use to measure a fish.
- Using a standard ruler or retractable measuring tape
- A fixed measuring device to your boat
- A measurement ruler on your fishing rod
How To Measure Crustaceans
Crustaceans include lobster, crab, prawns, abalone and crayfish. They are also known as shellfish. Crustaceans come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes their width is greater than their length. Follow our chart below to see how to measure crustaceans.
Measure each abalone across the widest part of the shell using an abalone gauge, available from tackle shops. Measuring with anything else, such as a mark on a screwdriver, can lead to mistakes.
You are legally required to measure each abalone as you collect it and, if it is undersize, immediately and carefully replace it on the reef before you take your next abalone. Measure each abalone before you take it off the reef.
Place the end of a gauge over the ridge between the two spikes at the front of the rock lobster’s head and the other end of the gauge over the back of the carapace. The recreational catch is managed through a combination of measures including bag, size and possession limits. Recreational fishers must have a licence to fish for any species of rock lobster
Place the end of a gauge over the ridge between the two spikes at the front of the rock lobster’s head and the other end of the gauge over the back of the carapace. Fishers caught failing to immediately release protected crabs (undersize or berried), can face significant infringement penalties or court-imposed fines.
To measure the size of a spanner crab go from the orbital notch or eye socket and take a straight line to the centre of the posterior margin of the carapace.