Gummy Shark

Scientific Name
Mustelus antarcticus

General Description

In Victoria, gummy sharks are a highly sought after target species for the recreational fishing sector.

Where to Find

Gummy Sharks are distributed across southern Australian waters from Geraldton in Western Australia to Port Stephens in NSW, and including Tasmania. Gummy sharks can be found on or near the sea bed, generally inhabiting coastal marine waters to a depth of around 80 metres.

Threats and Management Issues

Gummy shark stocks in South East Australia are in excellent condition and the large offshore commercial fishery is closely monitored by Commonwealth fishery scientists and managers.

Recreational catches in Victoria are subject to a daily bag limit and possession limit of two fish per person for gummy shark and/or school shark. A minimum size limit of 45cm applies from the rear gill slit to the start or base of the tail fin.

Looking after the large females will ensure the long term sustainability of the fishery. Gummy sharks greater than 1.4 meters in total length are breeding females and the bigger they are, the more ‘pups’ they produce. Females breed every second year and have a gestation period of 11-12 months. On average, they give birth t0 on average 14 pups per litter but can be high as 57.

Choosing to carefully release any large female sharks will be good for the fishery in the years ahead. Recreational fishers had a long history of initiating socially responsible fishing practices for a range of key species such as snapper, Murray cod, elephant fish and dusky flathead.

Continued good management of this fishery will ensure recreational fishers can enjoy catching gummy sharks into the future and the flow of socio-economic benefits to the Victorian community.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Join our 50,000+ subscribers in receiving our Fishing Lines News delivered straight to your inbox. Don’t miss out on all the issues affecting your fishing, projects improving your fishing and opportunities to have your say about your fishery.

* indicates required
Communication Preferences (tick all that apply)