Status: OPEN from 7 July 2023
Find more information about the lastest scallop season on the
Commercial Scallop Season page
The Tasmanian scallop fishery targets the commercial scallop
(Pecten fumatus), one of three species naturally occurring in Tasmania. Scallops are harvested commercial utilising a benthic scallop dredge, which is towed along the sea floor and scoops scallops into the dredge.
Managing the fishery
The fishery is managed by individual transferable quotas (ITQ) as well as several input controls. It utilises a spatial approach to stock management referred to as a “paddock" fishing strategy, whereby all State waters are closed to fishing, except certain areas (paddocks) that meet certain opening criteria. This limits the impacts of scallop dredging to the smallest area possible.
A scallop dredge can't be deployed in waters less than 20 metres deep, which creates spatial separation between the recreational scallop fishery where diving is in shallower waters, and the commercial fishery.
Each year the scallop fishery undergoes a process of scallop surveys, comprising exploratory surveys where scallop fishers search for viable commercial scallop beds. Once a viable scallop bed or area is identified it undergoes targeted surveys to collect information such scallop size frequency, scallop density and biomass. Recommendations whether to open areas or not are based on this information.
The Tasmanian scallop fishery extends to 200 nautical miles from the Tasmanian coast, with the exception of Bass Strait, where its jurisdiction covers 3-20 nautical miles offshore, see map below.
The area of State waters for the scallop fishery provided by the offshore constitutional settlement.