PLEASE NOTE: The Victorian Rock Lobster Tagging Program starts July 2017.
As part of a three year trial beginning on the 1st of July 2017, The Victorian government will require all recreational fisherman to tag every rock lobster (Crayfish) Caught in Victorian waters, this is regardless of if they are caught snorkeling, diving or in cray pots.
The Victorian Government claim "the program will ensure ongoing access to the rock lobster resource for all sectors, and a healthy, sustainable and well-managed fishery for present and future generations to enjoy."
The government have struggled to gauge how many rock lobsters are taken annually by the recreational sector. They hope that the newly introduced tagging program will provide data on the numbers caught recreationally.
Extreme Waterssport believe the system is somewhat unpractical and unnecessarily onerous. However the changes will take effect as of 1st of July and we will do what we can to answer your questions and help make the introduction of this system as smooth as possible!
At the end of the day its all worth it for the taste of sweet sweet Cray!
Cray Tagging FAQ
Do I have to tag my Crays?
Yes, all crays caught in Victorian waters must be tagged.
Tagging is mandatory and fines will be applied for failure to comply.
You must use tags even if you are exempt from holding a Recreational Fishing licence.
How do I get tags?
Tags can be ordered online here. You will need to create an online profile which will become your login for ordering more tags and registering your catch.
At this point of time there is no provision for authorised outlets such as Extreme Watersport to distribute tags, we do have a plan in place which will allow us to help if you get caught out without tags at the last minute, however we would rather that you use the fisheries system.
Alternatively tags are available for collection from selected Victorian Government Offices. You will need to have created an online account prior to collection of tags
Tags can be collected at the following government offices:
DEDJTR Office Queenscliff, 2A Bellarine Highway, Queenscliff
DEDJTR Office Lakes Entrance, 10 Staunton St, Lakes Entrance
DEDJTR Office Warrnambool, 703-709 Raglan Parade, Warrnambool.
How much does it cost?
The tags are free. You must hold a valid Victorian Fishing licence.
How many tags can I order?
You can obtain up to 20 tags at any one time.
To order more tags you must report the ones you've used through the website or app before you can order more.
Do tags expire?
Tags expire at the end of each cray season and new tags will need to be ordered for the new season.
How are the tags recorded?
Each tag is individually numbered and registered to you.
You must only use tags assigned to you, (unless under 18 and under direct supervision of an adult, in which case the adults tags can be used)
When and how do apply tags?
Tags must be attached within 5 minutes of bringing rock lobster to the onto a boat, or if taken from the shore, within 5 minutes of landing and within 50 metres of the place of landing (these conditions are consistent with existing tail fin clipping requirements).
The tags are essentially a zip tie or cable tie with a unique serial number simply tie the tag around the crays horn.
Do I still need to clip the tail fin?
Yes, there are no changes to tail fin clipping requirements.
What do I do once I've tagged my cray?
Take it home and eat it!
Sometime before the end of the season you will need to log into the fisheries system and register your catch, this will include the date and location the cray was caught and the cray's carapace length.
We recommend registering your catch as soon as possible before you forget the details
What if I don't use all my tags?
You will need to log into the fisheries system at the end of the season and register any remaining tags as unused. This must be done before you can order tags for the new season.
What if I lose my tags?
These can be registered as lost via the fisheries system.
Can I transfer my tags to friends or family?
Yes, however both parties must have a profile on the fisheries system
Are there any other changes to current regulations?
No, There are no further changes to size limits, open seasons, bag and possession limits or existing tail fin clipping requirements.
Do I still need a fishing licence?
Yes, There are no changes to the fishing licence system
What are the seasons for tags?
The seasons for tags are in line with the annual cray season being
Year 1: 1 July 2017 to 15 September 2018.
Year 2: 16 November 2018 – 15 September 2019.
Year 3: 16 November 2019 – 15 September 2020.
Give me a quick overview, how do I do this again?
Create a personalised account and password here.
Catch a Cray - This is the hard part!
Securely attached a tag to the base of the antenna of each lobster you take from the water before you leave the place of landing (i.e. the beach or the boat).
Report tag use and order more tags if you want to.
Report on all tags in your possession by the end of the season.