2023 Season landed scallop catch
Commercial scallop landings will be updated fortnightly from the start of the season.
2023 Season Parameters
Following the completion of scallop surveys and a recommendation by the Scallop Fishery Advisory Committee (ScFAC), the commercial scallop fishery has been approved to open.
The fishery will 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).
Notices setting the TAC and open areas were published in the Gazette and major papers in 5 July 2023. Links to the notices can be found below.
State scallop waters west of Point Sorell and North of Bluff Hill Point open 7 July 2023, excluding waters less than 20m, scallop dredge prohibited areas, and the designated spawning biomass closure.
This area will open with minimum size limit for commercial scallops of 85mm.
The map below depicts the North West open 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) have been 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 is 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)
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.
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.