Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
southern scallop, Tasmanian scallop, king scallop
Commercial scallops have a distinctive fan-shaped shell of a pale, pink to red colour with ridges radiating out from the hinge and ‘scalloping’ along the edge. The shell halves or valves are different with one rounded and the other flat, and a symmetrical hinge or wings is present (select image below and scroll to see both shells). This species has a white, round muscle or meat and orange roe. Commercial scallops usually lie buried with only the flat valve visible but if disturbed, will actively swim by forcing out water from the shell cavity.
Recreational Fishing Seasons.
The D’Entrecasteaux Channel is managed as a separate scallop fishing area to other state waters.
Scallops can be shucked for eating at sea as long as shells are retained and brought ashore. These scallops count towards the bag limit and landing shucked meats is prohibited.
recreational scallop webpage for full rules.
They are found in depths from 0 - 120 metres on soft sediments ranging from mud to coarse sand where they may form dense beds. Found in Bass Strait and on the east and south-east coasts of Tasmania.
Scallops are taken recreationally by dive collection. The D’Entrecasteaux Channel, which historically accounts for 95% of the recreational fishery, is managed as a separate area. Surveys are done each year before deciding whether to open this area, reduce the season length or increase the size limits. The Channel has been closed for the past few seasons to allow stocks to recover.
The leading edge of the shell can be quite sharp. Although scallops have closed shells, keep them in the shade or cover with a wet sack to prevent the meat drying out. Sponges growing on shells may cause skin irritations in some people.
Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the
Department of Health or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.
After shucking scallops, try using saltwater to do the final rinse. Scallops have a rich flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium-firm, translucent, beige flesh when raw, turning opaque when cooked. Try steaming, deep or pan frying, stir-frying, grilling or barbequing.
Recipe: Pan Seared Tasmanian Scallops:
About 16 scallops, 2 tsp olive or sesame oil, 2 tsp butter, sea salt and ground black pepper.
Remove the muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and dry thoroughly. Season the scallops with the salt and pepper. Heat a small frying pan and add the butter and oil. When the pan begins to smoke, add the scallops. Sear them for 60-90 seconds on each side. The scallops should have a golden crust on each side but still be translucent in the middle. Serve immediately.
Rescreational Scallop Fishery Survey 2022 - See the full report.
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550