Know the rules in Sydney Harbour

Planning on fishing and collecting within Sydney Harbour? – make sure you know the rules first!

NSW Fisheries Officers recently apprehended a man collecting and line fishing from a rock platform within Sydney Harbour. Upon inspection the man was found to be in possession of 17 molluscs and 1 Cunjevoi collected within Sydney Harbour. He was also line fishing using 4 baited hooks on one line (the max. limit is 3 baited hooks per line) and had failed to pay the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee. Compliance action was enacted on the defendant for these four offences.

All intertidal rock platforms and beaches within Sydney Harbour and its tributaries are subject to the Sydney Harbour Intertidal Protected Area (IPA) closure. Collecting seashore animals within this zone is prohibited. This includes crabs, snails, cunjevoi, octopus, sea urchins, anemones, pipis, cockles, mussels, oysters and nippers (saltwater yabbies).



All of the waters within Sydney Harbour and its tributaries are subject to the Port Jackson Shellfish Closure. Collecting any species of shellfish within this zone is prohibited. This includes pipis, cockles, mussels, whelks, oysters and abalone.

These closures are in place due to elevated dioxin levels present within The Harbour. Seashore animals, including shellfish, can accumulate these harmful dioxins from the water during feeding. These closures are also in place to preserve this unique aquatic environment. Our state’s aquatic environment is a community-owned resource. We all have a responsibility to protect and safeguard this natural asset for current and future generations.

Guides to where collecting can be undertaken can be downloaded in multiple languages on the DPI website: More information can be found using the FishSmart NSW mobile app which is available for download on Google Play or Apple iTunes.

To report illegal fishing activity contact the Fisherwatch phone line on 1800 043 536 or via the online report form –

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