In April 2020 the AFMA Commission made the decision to cancel the 2020 biomass survey, following requests received from Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZSF) concession holders, including the Bass Strait Scallop Fishery Industry Association Inc. and the Scallop Fishermen's Association of Tasmania Inc., due to logistical and operational issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Scallop Resource Assessment Group (ScallopRAG) and the Scallop Management Advisory Committee (ScallopMAC) met on 11 and 12 May respectively to formulate advice to the AFMA Commission on the total allowable catch (TAC), area closures, season dates and any other management arrangements for the BSCZSF 2020 fishing season. As part of their considerations, ScallopRAG and ScallopMAC examined a summary of information from recent biomass surveys to inform advice to the Commission on sustainability and management implications in the absence of the 2020 biomass survey.
The advice provided by ScallopRAG and ScallopMAC will be considered by the AFMA Commission in May 2020. Subject to the AFMA Commission setting a 2020 TAC for the Fishery, AFMA Management expect the fishing season would be opened around mid-July 2020.