Snapper magic to captivate our bays

22 October 2018

Victoria boasts some of Australia’s best snapper fishing in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, which is enjoyed by thousands of keen anglers every spring.

Most anglers do the right thing and abide by catch limits, contributing to the sustainable management of this iconic fishery so it can be enjoyed now and for decades to come.

Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO Travis Dowling said anglers could look forward to seeing plenty of Fisheries Officers out and about as part of Operation Abate, which commenced today.

“Fisheries Officers from across the state will be part of the Operation, checking more anglers, more often to ensure everyone’s doing the right thing. Uniformed and plain-clothes patrols will be undertaken from boats and the shore, through daylight hours and at night,” Mr Dowling said.

“Fisheries scientists predict the 2018 snapper season will see large numbers of small undersize snapper entering the fishery following above average recruitment in recent years.

“This is wonderful news for future snapper stocks but will likely require anglers to responsibly handle higher than usual catches of undersize snapper.

“Studies show that careful handling, rapid return to the water and circle hooks all contribute to higher survival rates of released fish, which is vital if more are to reach maturity.”

Mr Dowling said 15 new Fisheries Officers had been employed recently and are currently in training, expected to join the ranks fully during the busy summer period.

“We have also invested in new patrol boats and vehicles to give all of our officers greater mobility and flexibility on the water and when undertaking shore-based inspections.

“Great natural recruitment and a big on-water presence by officers this season has been complemented by the removal of most commercial net fishing in Port Phillip Bay and the cessation of all commercial net fishing in Corio Bay, which happened in April and was funded by the State Government’s Target One Million plan.”

Recreational anglers are reminded that the minimum legal size for snapper in Victoria is 28cm, and the daily bag limit is 10, of which no more than 3 snapper can equal or exceed 40cm.

A recreational fishing licence is required, unless exempt, and can be purchased online quickly and simply via