Survey shows prime conditions await commercial Bass Strait scallops fishers for third year running

The Commonwealth Scallop Fishery in Bass Strait looks set for another good season, and you can expect to see fresh Australian scallops in abundance at seafood retailers in the coming months.

The 2018 season opens tomorrow and the catch limits have been set at 3,876 tonnes for commercial scallops which is the highest sustainable catch the fishery has seen in nine years. The catch limit for doughboy scallops is 100 tonnes.

The CEO of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Dr James Findlay, said keeping the fishery well managed and sustainable has created three consecutive years of prime conditions for those harvesting scallops. It has also created a bounty for those who love to eat them.

“Recent scientific surveys have shown there are a good number of quality scallops available for harvest this year in Bass Strait,” Dr Findlay said.

“The catch limit is based on scientific advice and set by the AFMA Commission, and on-board vessel monitoring systems will help to ensure the fleet harvests according to the fishery’s Management Arrangements.

“Five areas will be closed to fishing to protect some large scallop beds, allowing these scallops to spawn undisturbed and contribute to future scallop fishing seasons.

“Scallop lovers can be assured when they buy Bass Strait scallops they are taking home a sustainable seafood and supporting an Australian industry.”

Around 12 boats work out of ports in Tasmania and Victoria during the season, which will close on 31 December 2018.

For more information on how AFMA manages the Commonwealth Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, visit afma.gov.au.