Snook (2018)

Sphyraena novaehollandiae

  • Bradley Moore (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • John Stewart (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)
  • Brett Molony (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Jeremy Lyle (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Mike Steer (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Brent Womersley (Victorian Fisheries Authority)

You are currently viewing a report filtered by jurisdiction. View the full report.

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Also known as Shortfin Pike, Snook is distributed around southern Australia. Stock status is sustainable in SA, TAS and WA. It is negligible in NSW and undefined in VIC.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Victoria Victoria CIF, GLF, OF, PPBWPF Undefined Catch
Corner Inlet Fishery (VIC)
Gippsland Lakes Fishery (VIC)
Ocean Fishery (VIC)
Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay Fishery (VIC)
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Stock Structure

Also known as Shortfin Pike, Snook is distributed around southern Australia from Jurien Bay in Western Australia to southern Queensland, including Tasmania. Snook are usually found over seagrass beds and kelp reefs near the surface both in inshore and offshore waters of up to 20 m [Bertoni 1995, Edgar 2008, Gormon et al. 2008]. There is no information available on the stock structure of Snook in Australian waters.

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the jurisdictional level—Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

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Stock Status


In Victoria, commercial landings of Snook (Shortfin Pike) and Longfin Pike (Dinolestes lewini) are not reported separately. Consequently, reported catches are pooled and reported as ‘Pike’. In 2017, 8.92 t of ‘Pike’ was caught in the Corner Inlet Fishery (CIF) whilst there was no commercial catch of ‘Pike’ in the Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Fishery (PPBWPF). Pike are landed using mesh net and haul seine, although the species proportion is unknown. Commercial netting is being phased out in Port Phillip Bay. Since 2016, 34 of the 43 licences have been bought out by the Victorian government. This has significantly reduced commercial effort for ‘Pike’. Commercial catch of 1.33 t in 2016 was reduced to zero in the PPBWPF in 2017. Commercial net fishing in Port Phillip Bay will cease by 2022 and has already ceased in Corio Bay. There is insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, Snook in Victoria is classified as an undefined stock.

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Snook biology [Bertoni 1995, Edgar 2008, Gormon et al. 2008]

Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Snook 20 years, 1 100 mm TL 420 mm TL 
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Distribution of reported commercial catch of Snook
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Fishing methods
Hook and Line
Hook and Line
Management methods
Method Victoria
Effort limits
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial closures
Customary fishing permits
Bag and possession limits
Bag limits
Size limit
Spatial closures
Indigenous Unknown (No catch under permit)
Recreational Unknown

Western Australia – Recreational (catch) Western Australia boat-based recreational catch from 1 September 2015–30 November 2016. Shore based catches are largely unknown.

Western Australia – Recreational (management methods) In Western Australia, a recreational fishing from boat licence is required to take finfish from a powered vessel.

Victoria – Commercial (catch) Snook is not differentiated from Longfin Pike caught in Victorian commercial fisheries.

Victoria – Indigenous In Victoria, regulations for managing recreational fishing may not apply to fishing activities by Indigenous people. Victorian traditional owners may have rights under the Commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993 to hunt, fish, gather and conduct other cultural activities for their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs without the need to obtain a licence. Traditional Owners that have agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) may also be authorised to fish without the requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence. Outside of these arrangements, Indigenous Victorians can apply for permits under the Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic) that authorise fishing for specific Indigenous cultural ceremonies or events (for example, different catch and size limits or equipment). There were no Indigenous permits granted in 2017 and hence no Indigenous catch recorded.

Tasmania – Recreational (management methods) In Tasmania, a recreational licence is required for fishers using dropline or longline gear, along with nets, such as gillnet or beach seine.

Tasmania – Commercial (catch) Catches reported for the Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery are for the period 1 July to 30 June the following year. The most recent assessment available is for 2016–17.

Tasmania – Indigenous (management methods) In Tasmania, Indigenous persons engaged in aboriginal fishing activities in marine waters are exempt from holding recreational fishing licences, but must comply with all other fisheries rules as if they were licensed. If using pots, rings, set lines or gillnets, Indigenous fishers must obtain a unique identifying code (UIC). The policy document Recognition of Aboriginal Fishing Activities for issuing a UIC to a person for Aboriginal Fishing activity explains the steps to take in making an application for a UIC.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Snook - note confidential catch not shown
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Downloadable reports

Click the links below to view reports from other years for this fish.