The closure to all fishing for Giant Australian Cuttlefish in northern Spencer Gulf will continue for a further 12 months until 15 February 2019, as part of the management of this iconic species.
A large spawning population of Giant Australian Cuttlefish gather at Point Lowly, in SA’s northern Spencer Gulf, each year between May and September. It is the largest and only known site in the world where they aggregate to spawn and lay their eggs.
The closure, which protects the species during its critical breeding season, includes all waters north of a line commencing near Arno Bay on Eyre Peninsula to Wallaroo on Yorke Peninsula. It is in addition to the permanent cephalopod (squid, cuttlefish and octopus) fishing closure in the waters of False Bay.
Recreational and commercial fishers are prohibited from taking or targeting Giant Australian Cuttlefish during the closure.
Quotes attributable to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Executive Director, Sean Sloan
The Giant Australian Cuttlefish spawning population at Point Lowly near Whyalla continues to thrive, and will be further supported by ongoing protection of the Cuttlefish population.
Population numbers have increased since 2013’s record low of 13,492, compared with a significantly higher population of 127,992 recorded in June 2017 – the third highest population estimate recorded over the last decade.
This closure applies to the targeting and take of Cuttlefish, so any Cuttlefish inadvertently caught must be immediately and carefully returned to the water. However if you are fishing outside the False Bay area but within the northern Spencer Gulf closure area you will still be able to continue to fish for squid and octopus.
The Giant Australian Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) is one of the largest cuttlefish species in the world.
A working group formed in 2012, with subsequent protection of the Giant Australian Cuttlefish starting in March 2013, following concerns over the species decline.
For further information on the northern Spencer Gulf cuttlefish closure visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing/recreational_fishing/cuttlefish