Sustainability status
Uncertain
Commercial scallop catch limit
0 tonnes
for the 2017 season
Doughboy scallop catch limit
0 tonnes
for the 2017 season
Scallops are strong and rich in flavour with a medium–firm texture.

They are popular grilled or barbecued. Grill under a salamander, then drizzle with lime juice and olive oil, or sprinkle with fresh lemon zest and cracked pepper.


  • scallops-cooked-in-shell
  • Doughboy scallop
  • Commercial scallops

Biology

Scientific name: Pecten fumatus

Family: Pectinidae

Other names: Southern scallop, Tasmanian scallop, king scallop

Description: Commercial scallops have thin, equal-sized, circular shaped shells with about 15 radiating ribs. The lower valve (shell) is paler and more curved than the upper valve. The shell can be covered with irregular brownish patterning.

Size (length and weight): Up to 14.5 cm in shell height. Commonly found at 8‑9 cm in shell height. Growth rates vary depending on location.

Life span: Up to 10 years, but usually less than 7 years. Wild populations have been known to die off rapidly after only 3‑5 years.

Habitat: Commercial scallops are found buried in soft sediment ranging from mud to coarse sand. Scallops aggregate into beds and bury themselves so that only the top shell is visible. The orientation of scallop beds may be influenced by tidal currents. Commercial scallops are mainly found at depths of 10-20 metres but may also occur down to 120 metres. While mainly sedentary, scallops can swim by rapidly opening and closing their shells, usually when disturbed by predators.

Prey: Plankton and detritus.

Predators: Starfish, whelks and octopus.

Reproduction: Commercial scallops reach reproductive maturity after one year, but do not spawn until the second year. Spawning is thought to be triggered by a sudden increase in water temperature. Spawning occurs over an extended period during winter and spring. Commercial scallops are hermaphrodites and ‘broadcast spawners’ that release gametes into the water. There is a delay between the release of eggs and sperm to prevent self-fertilisation. Fecundity increases with shell size and age. An individual can produce up to one million eggs during spawning.

Biology

Scientific name: Chlamys asperrimus (also known as Mimachlamys asperrima)

Family: Pectinidae

Other names: Sponge scallop, prickly scallop

Description: Doughboy scallops have equal-sized, circular shaped shells with 20‑26 radiating ribs, and two small wings at the hinge. Both shells are convex. Shells vary in colour from orange to pink, with bright blue eyes around the edge.

Size (length and weight): Up to 11 cm in shell height. Growth rates vary depending on location.

Life span: Unknown, although other related scallops live for up to 14 years.

Habitat: Doughboy scallops are found buried in soft sediment ranging from mud to coarse sand, usually attached to solid objects by byssal threads. Scallops aggregate into beds and bury themselves so that only the top shell is visible. The orientation of scallop beds may be influenced by tidal currents. Doughboy scallops can be found at depths of about 2-110 metres. While mainly sedentary, scallops can swim by rapidly opening and closing their shells, usually when disturbed by predators. Doughboy scallops often have sponges growing on top of their shell.

Prey: Plankton and detritus.

Predators: Starfish, whelks and octopus.

Reproduction: Doughboy scallops reach reproductive maturity after about one year. Spawning occurs over an extended period during winter and spring. Doughboy scallops have separate sexes and are ‘broadcast spawners’ that release gametes into the water. Fecundity increases with shell size and age. Females produce about 800 000 eggs during spawning.

Fishery

Fishery Gear Catch of this species is targeted or incidental
Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Towed dredge Targeted

Management of catch

Scallops are managed by a total allowable catch and seasonal and spatial closures. The catch limit restricts the total weight of scallops that can be caught each season and is apportioned between individual fishers. Management arrangements, including catch limits and closure areas are developed each season by AFMA in consultation with the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Management Advisory Committee and the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Resource Assessment Group.

Area caught

Commercial scallops are caught in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, in the Bass Strait between Tasmania and Victoria. Commercial scallops are also caught in the Victorian and Tasmanian managed scallop fisheries that lie within 20 nm of their respective coasts.

Scallops are harvested from muddy to coarse sandy seafloors.


Fishing gear and environmental impacts

There are low levels of bycatch or other species caught in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery. No threatened, endangered and protected species were identified in the ecological risk assessment report as being high risk in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery.

Want to know more?

This is just an overview of scallops, if you want to know more see the links below:

Sustainability – see the most recent Fishery status report

Management – this fish is managed under the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery

Data – Download raw data on annual catches from AFMA catch disposal records and AFMA daily fishing logbooks

Expert adviceScallop Resource Assessment Group and the Scallop Management Advisory Committee

Environmental impactsBycatch and discard program

Eating and cooking – Visit the Fishfiles website for the best cooking techniques and recipes for this fish

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