Statewide exploratory commercial scallop surveys will commence from 1 April 2023. The aim of the surveys are to identify beds of scallops that might be considered for opening during the 2023 season or a future season.
A scallop dredge can be deployed for the purpose of a scallop survey in all State Scallop waters other than scallop dredge prohibited areas, waters less than 20 metres deep and areas identified as a priority for targeted surveys. Commercial quantities of scallops can be retained with a maximum of 50 tonnes per scallop area (areas 1-6 in the map below).
The North West and White Rock/ Great Oyster Bay have been identified as priority areas for targeted surveys, as indicated on the map below. These surveys will be overseen by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies Survey (IMAS).
It is proposed to undertake a camera survey of the Boags Commonwealth Marine Park in the North West scallop area, the aim of this survey will be to identify if there are sufficient scallops in the marine park to serve as a spawning biomass closure for the region.
Tasmanian scallop areas.
Exploratory survey- takes place during the statewide scallop survey period, used to locate and identify potential candidate open areas, commercial scallop fishing can take place and commercial quantities of scallops landed within an approved framework. Fishers must measure up to 50 scallops from survey tows.
Targeted Surveys- target known scallop beds usually identified during an exploratory survey, information from the survey will be used to make decisions regarding potential open areas. Targeted surveys will follow a more structured format developed by IMAS and are typically designed provide estimates of scallop density/ biomass and size structure. A targeted survey will have an IMAS observer on board to oversee the survey and data collection.
Opportunistic surveys- exploratory surveys can take place as scallop fishers transit from an open area to port or whilst participating in other fisheries. No scallops can be retained. Fishers must measure up to 50 scallops from survey tows.
A survey authorisation is required to participate in any survey.