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Changes to recreational rock lobster devices - Northern Zone
New arrangements are in place for recreational rock lobster devices used in the Northern Zone of the rock lobster fishery.
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Goolwa Beach Pipi Fishing closure
Goolwa Beach has been closed to recreational fishing for Pipi (Goolwa Cockles) until midnight 31 May 2014 due to concerns over Diarrhetic Shellfish toxin levels in the Pipi.
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View map of closure (JPG 965.1 KB)

SA Marine Parks: Commercial Fisheries Voluntary Catch/Effort Reduction Program
The offer period for licence holders to surrender licence and/or entitlements is now closed.
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Port River Mud Cockle closure
The Port River Mud Cockle fishing closure has been extended until 30 June 2015 due to ongoing concerns about sustainability.
Map of closure area
Frequently asked questions
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Snapper spawning spatial closures
New Snapper spawning spatial closures will come into effect on 15 December 2013.
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Map of closures
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Changes to commercial and recreational Blue Swimmer Crab fishing limits
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Frequently asked questions
Map of reduction area

Fish mortalities response
Latest update available now

Spencer Gulf Cuttlefish closure
Cuttlefish fishing in northern Spencer Gulf has been closed until 14 February 2015.
Frequently asked questions

Map of closure area

Recreational shark fishing restrictions
Restrictions on targeted recreational shark fishing in metropolitan waters have been updated.
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Redmap launches in SA
Redmap is a new and interactive website, that invites the Australian community to spot, log and map marine species that are uncommon in Australia, or along particular parts of our coast.
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Recreational fishing possession limits begin
Recreational fishing possession limits are now in place in South Australia, limiting the amount of King George Whiting, Pipi and Razorfish that recreational fishers can catch and stockpile.
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Garfish

GarfishHyporhamphus melanochir

What do they look like?

Southern Garfish are pale greenish blue on the back and upper sides, and have a broad, blue-edged silver band along the middle of the side. Garfish are distinguished from most other species by the large ‘bill’ or ‘beak’ on their lower jaw.

Another species, the River Garfish (Hyporhamphus regularis) is found in a few locations in South Australia. However, little is known of the biology of the species.

Where are they found?

Southern Garfish occur in southern Australian waters, from Victoria through Bass Straight and around Tasmania to through to south western Western Australia. DNA testing has shown that four genetically separate populations occur within its distribution: 

  • Western Australia
  • western South Australia
  • the South Australian gulfs / Victorian bays and
  • Tasmania

In South Australia they are found throughout gulf waters and sheltered bays on the west coast, Kangaroo Island and the south east coast. The extent of their offshore distribution is currently unknown, as no surface net fishery exists in these waters.

Life cycle

Southern Garfish are serial batch spawners, producing relatively few, but large eggs over its extensive spawning season. In South Australia the spawning season occurs from September to April. During that period, there are two distinct spawning peaks in November, December and February.  

Although only a few eggs have been found among seagrass beds in South Australian waters, there is a close relationship between garfish eggs and seagrass. The eggs of Garfish are adhesive and relatively large (2.5 to 3 mm diameter).

Research has shown that Garfish become sexually mature at a total length (measured from the tip of the upper jaw to the end of the caudal fin) of about 21 cm in approximately 18 months.  The maximum age of Garfish in South Australia is thought to be about 10 years.

Feeding habits

In the sheltered waters, garfish live among seagrass beds, as they feed during daylight hours on leaves of the seagrasses Zostera and Heterozostera. During the night, they prefer to feed on zooplankton throughout the water column.

Garfish are usually caught by recreational fishers in summer using light line, small hooks and a float.

Catch lengths and legal limits

A Garfish

Type of fish
Marine
Common name
Southern Garfish
Scientific name
Hyporhamphus melanochir
Minimum legal length:23 cm measured from tip of the upper jaw to the tip of the tail
Personal daily bag limit:60
Daily boat limit:180
Species information
More information about garfish.