2023 Scallop Season

2023 S​eason​ landed scallop catch

​Date​Landed catch (t)
​% TAC
2 January 2024
Final 2023 commercial scallop catch. 

2023 Season Parameters 

Following the completion of scallop surveys and a recommendation​ by the Scallop Fishery Advisory Committee (ScFAC), the commercial scallop fishery was approved to open.

The fishery was open from midnight 7 July to 31 December 2023 with a total allowable catch (TAC) of 4,990 tonnes or 484kg/ unit.    

To fish in the 2023 commercial scallop season licence holders must apply to activate a fishing licence (scallop) by completing the 'Vary a Fishing Licence (Scallop)' application form.  Participating vessels must also have an operating vessel monitoring system (VMS).

Queries can be directed to the Fisheries Compliance and Monitoring section on (03) 6165 3000 or email fisheries.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au.

Open Areas in 2023

North West ​​

State scallop waters west of Point Sorell and North of Bluff Hill Point opened 7 July 2023, excluding waters less than 20m, scallop dredge prohibited areas, and the designated spawning biomass closure.

This area opened with minimum size limit for commercial scallops of 85mm.

The map below depicts the North West opened area, including the spawning biomass closure area and Boags Marine Park. ​​

Scallop Survey Results

Targeted surveys of the north west (scallop Area 1) and lower east (scallop Area 5) were completed. Surveys were designed by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and undertaken by commercial scallop vessels with IMAS observers onboard. A camera survey of the Boags Commonwealth Marine Park, to determine its suitability as a spawning biomass closed area, is yet to be completed.​

From the 2023 survey, scallop biomass in the north-west scallop area has increased by 45% when compared to the 2022 survey. This was due to growth of the scallops and the addition of a fifth survey area.  The biomass in the lower east scallop area has reduced by 88% compared to the 2022 survey.  This was due to significant a die-off of scallops during the 2022 season.

​The IMAS survey report can be downloaded from the link below. This report will be updated as scallop survey data analysis is completed for the Boags camera survey and exploratory surveys.   ​


 Scallop survey report 2023 (PDF 3Mb)

Scallop Surveys

Statewide exploratory commercial scallop surveys commenced on 1 April 2023. The aim of the surveys was 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 were identified as priority areas for targeted surveys, as indicated on the map below. These surveys were overseen by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies Survey (IMAS). 

It is also proposed to undertake a camera survey of the Boags Commonwealth Marine Park in the North West scallop area to identify if there are sufficient scallops in the marine park to serve as a spawning biomass closure for the region.

Tas Scallop Survey Area 2023 

Survey Types

Exploratory survey- takes place during the state wide 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 to 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.  


    Commercial Scallop Management
    Level 3, 134 Macquar​ie St
    HOBART TAS 7000
    Phone: 0457 005 376
    Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au


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    0427 655 557

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    Contact us

    Recreational Fishing

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    Hobart TAS 7000

    Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

    Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

    Commercial Fisheries

    Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

    GPO Box 44

    Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

    Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

    Commercial Fisheries Licensing

    Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

    GPO Box 44

    Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

    Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au