Tailor (skipjack)


Tailor are found in temperate and sub-tropical waters, being most prolific on the east coast between Wilsons Promontory in Victoria and Fraser Island in Queensland. They make use of a wide range of habitats from upper reaches of estuaries, through bays, harbours and inlets to inshore grounds, shallow reefs, islands and out to the edge of the continental shelf.

Stock structure

Genetic evidence indicates there are two biological stocks of tailor in Australia, one along the east coast and a second along the west coast. Tailor in Victorian waters are from the eastern Australian biological stock. The eastern Australian biological stock is distributed from Bundaberg in southern Queensland, along the entire New South Wales coast and into eastern Bass Strait in Victoria.  

The national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks report 2014 assessed the status of tailor at the scale of this eastern Australian biological stock.  

Annual catch


Estimated Victorian catch

Commercial (2015/16 fishing year)

36 tonnes

Recreational (statewide estimate from 2000/01 national survey)

 ≈ 86 tonnes (57,428 tailor of average weight 1.5kg)

Indigenous (i.e. 2015/16 customary fishing permits

0 tonnes

Estimated total

≈ 122 tonnes

Stock status

The table below summarises and explains the status and management of tailor based on: 

  1. Stock status: classification of the biological status of the eastern Australian stock as at 2013, taken from the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) report 2014. This biological stock is affected by fishing and management beyond Victorian waters.
    Read more here about the SAFS assessment approach and classification system.
  2. Management settings: overview of current management arrangements in Victorian waters, including any recent changes that may affect stock status.
  3. Risk management category: The Victorian Fisheries Authority's overall, qualitative assessment of current risk to stock status in Victorian waters taking into account management arrangements, based on the best information currently available:

    Red Red - current management measures may not be sufficient to prevent stock depletion
    Amber Amber - current management measures expected to mitigate risk of stock depletion
    Green Green - stock status not of concern under current management

Stock status is based only on sustainability and is for the entire biological stock. Management settings and risk management category also consider the steps taken to address stock status, and only apply to the portion of the stock in Victorian waters. 

Management settings are also influenced by social and economic factors, and can take some time to affect a stock's status. This can depend on biological and environmental factors as well as the type and level of management changes implemented.

Stock status (2013 data)

Key management settings

Risk management category



Commercial harvest is predominantly managed by limited entry licensing and restrictions on size and gear, while recreational fishers are subject to size, gear and bag limits.

Read more about the fishing methods and rules for tailor in Victoria.

Contact The Victorian Fisheries Authority for a copy of the recent Gippsland Lakes Fisheries Assessment report.



Collectively, the following data provide evidence that this stock is sustainable

Available information does not indicate stock status concerns

Basis for stock status classification (from SAFS 2014)

Biomass assessment

Based on this evidence, SAFS 2014 concluded that that the biomass of the stock was unlikely to be recruitment overfished.

Fishing pressure assessment

Based on this evidence, SAFS 2014 concluded that the level of fishing pressure was unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished.

Read more here about the assessment of tailor stock status as at 2013 in the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) report 2014.