Bays and Inlet Fisheries

Victorian bay, inlet and estuarine finfish fisheries are multi-species, multi-method fisheries that are subject to multiple competing uses and are characterised by large fluctuations in fish abundance that are driven more often by both natural and human induced changes in aquatic habitat and environmental conditions, than by the direct effects of fishing.

The larger bay and inlet fisheries include Western Port (Figure 1), Port Phillip Bay (Figure 2), Corner Inlet/Nooramunga (Figure 3) and the Gippsland Lakes (Figure 4) where both commercial and recreational fishing occur. Commercial netting was phased out in Western Port in 2009, in Gippsland Lakes in 2020, and in Port Phillip Bay in 2022.

Western Port (Figure 1)

Western Port Bay

Port Phillip Bay (Figure 2)

Port Phillip Bay

Corner Inlet/Nooramunga (Figure 3)

Gippsland Lakes (Figure 4)

Gippsland Lakes

Commercial fishing (other than bait and eels) has been removed from the smaller inlets and estuaries that include Anderson Inlet, Mallacoota Inlet, Lake Tyers, among other minor inlets across the state.

Commercial Bay and Inlets Fisheries

Commercial bay and inlets fisheries are multi-species, multi gear fisheries managed using a range of input controls.


Western Port/ Port Phillip Bay

Corner Inlet/ Nooramunga

Gippsland Lakes

Western Port

Port Phillip Bay






Fishery boundary

See Figure 1

See Figure 2

See Figure 3

See Figure 4

Maximum number of licences


Note: commercial netting was phased out in 2022, with 8 fishers remaining using line methods


Note: commercial netting was phased out in 2020.

Fishing equipment

Octopus pot, bay fish trap, commercial hoop net, fishing line (including a longline), mussel rake underwater breathing apparatus and a hand operated bait pump.

Octopus pot, bay fish trap, fishing line (including a long line), underwater breathing apparatus, mussel rake and a hand operated bait pump

Commercial hoop net, longline, seine net, mesh net and fishing line.

Shrimp dredge, crab pot, bait pump, dip net, stake net, seine net, shell shovel, spider crab trap, muscle rake and underwater breathing apparatus.

Management method

A range of input controls including limited entry, gear limits and restrictions, closures, size limits, catch limits. Take of snapper in the Western Port / Port Philip Bay fishery is also managed under quota.