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 and by 2022 there will be no commercial netting in Port Phillip Bay.

Western Port (Figure 1)

Western Port Bay

Port Phillip Bay (Figure 2)

Port Phillip Bay

Corner Inlet/Nooramunga (Figure 3)

Corner Inlet/Nooramunga

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: netting will be banned by 2022, with 8 fishers remaining using line methods



Note: Netting will be banned by April 2021

Fishing equipment

Octopus trap, bay fish trap, fishing line (including a longline), underwater breathing apparatus and a hand operated bait pump.

Seine net, purse seine net, lampara net, mesh net, commercial hoop net, dip net, octopus trap, bay fish trap, fishing line, underwater breathing apparatus, hand operated mussel rake and a hand operated bait pump

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

Mesh net, seine net, shrimp dredge, crab pot, bait pump, dip net, stake net, shell shovel, spider crab trap, underwater breathing apparatus and fishing line.

Management method

A range of input controls including limited entry, gear limits and restrictions, closures, size limits, catch limits

Click here for further information on commercial netting regulations in the Gippsland Lakes