BASS STRAIT CENTRAL ZONE SCALLOP FISHERY

Major species:
Commercial Scallops

Estimated catch:
2189 tonnes (1 April – 20 December 2010)

Gross value of production:
$4.6 million

Fishery wide surveys are used to assess the status of the scallop stock

Fishery wide surveys are used to assess the status of the scallop stock

DEVELOPMENTS IN 2010–11

  • Fishery wide surveys continue to be used to assess the status of stocks in the fishery on an annual basis, following the closure of the fishery between 20 December 2005 and 31 May 2009.
  • Fishing for the 2010 season started on 1 April 2010 and closed on 20 December 2010 with a total allowable catch of 100 tonnes for Doughboy Scallops and 3000 tonnes for Commercial Scallops (plus 150 tonnes research quota allowance). No Doughboy Scallops were landed as a market for this species is yet to be developed.
  • The 2010 fishing season was generally considered successful, yielding 2189 tonnes (73 percent) of the 3000 tonne Commercial Scallop total allowable catch and 73 tonnes
    of the 150 tonne Commercial Scallop research catch allowance also landed.
  • A fishery wide pilot survey was conduced in January 2011 to establish biomass estimates for scallop beds. This survey identified two commercially viable areas, with biomass estimates of 2444 tonnes and 578 tonnes.
  • Based on the survey results and the application of the harvest strategy a total allowable catch of 2000 tonnes has been set for the 2011 season, to be fished in the area containing the larger biomass estimate.
  • Research is currently being conducted on the effect of seismic testing on scallop stocks in the fishery. The results of this research are not expected for another two years.
Scallops- photo AFMA

Scallops- photo AFMA

REPORT AGAINST MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery continued to be managed under the arrangements in the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Plan 2002 during 2011-12. A key management tool is the fishery’s Harvest Strategy. The harvest Strategy for this fishery is a detailed spatial management system which keeps the fishery closed unless surveys indicate that decision rules relating to biomass, shell length, discard rate and fishing area have been met.

The total allowable catch for the 2011 season of 2,000 tonnes is based on the assessment and application of the Harvest Strategy decision rules and the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Management Plan 2002. Fishing in the 2011 season will be undertaken in the same area fished in the 2010 season.

The scallop Harvest Strategy is a detailed spatial management system which keeps the fishery closed unless surveys indicate that decision rules have been met

The scallop Harvest Strategy is a detailed spatial management system which keeps the fishery closed unless surveys indicate that decision rules have been met