A Dusky Flathead (Platycephalus fuscus). Fairy Bower, Manly, NSW.

New dusky flathead and lobster rules

NSW introduces new dusky flathead and lobster recreational fishing rules – effective 1 August 2022.

From 1 August 2022 there are new recreational fishing rules for dusky flathead and lobster in NSW. This follows a comprehensive community consultation process which showed strong community support for the proposed changes.

The new changes for recreational fishers (line fishers and spear fishers) are:

  • Lobster – increase in bag/possession limit from 2 to 3 per person comprised wholly of any single species or a combination of species of Eastern Rock Lobster or Southern Rock Lobster.
  • Dusky flathead – introduction of a slot limit of 36 cm – 70 cm (previously 1 over 70cm) and reduction of bag limit from 10 to 5 per person. Possession limit will remain at 10 per person.

These changes will help boost the stock of bigger Dusky Flathead and ultimately provide better fishing opportunities for recreational fishers for this highly popular species in the future.


recreational fishing rules


Support for the dusky flathead rule changes is consistent with community sentiment over the past decade for proactive, more conservative fishing rules, such as a slot limit, to provide for more protection of the spawning biomass in the dusky flathead stock.

The increased bag limit for Lobster will also provide for increased recreational fishing opportunities. DPI will continue to monitor and assess Lobster stocks. A new harvest strategy has also recently been finalised for the Eastern Rock Lobster Fishery that will guide decision making in the future.

These proposed rule changes have been developed in close consultation with the Recreational Fishing NSW Advisory Council, which provides advice to the Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW on recreational fishing matters.

Thank you to all the individuals, fishing clubs and organisations who provided submissions and comments during the four-week consultation.

For more information on these recreational fishing rules changes see the frequently-asked-questions – https://bit.ly/3z3HbnR

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