2015 Commercial Scallop Season
The statewide survey period commenced on 1 April and ran through to early July. Scallop fishing vessels were issued survey authorisations to look for and survey scallop beds around the state.
The statewide survey process located two candidate open areas: one off Circular Head in the far north west and another on the east coast between Great Oyster Bay and White Rock.
Following the statewide scallop survey period, the Scallop Fishery Advisory Committee (ScFAC) met in mid June and made recommendations to the Minister regarding the areas to open as well as the Total Allowable Catch (TAC).
At the meeting the ScFAC considered all the survey information presented by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and determined that the bed located off Circular Head did not meet all the opening criteria, particularly the scallop meat weight, and was not commercially viable to fish. The White Rock area was assessed as meeting all criteria for harvesting.
The commercial scallop season commenced on the 2 July 2015 in the White Rock open area (see map below). An initial TAC of 620 tonnes was set with a trigger established to review the TAC once 400 tonnes were landed. The area will close to scallop harvesting on 31 December 2015.
On 31 July the Minister increased the TAC to 1033 tonnes after receiving advice from the ScFAC.
The TAC will once again be reviewed when 75% of the TAC is landed. Below is table of landed catch by month.
On 26 September the Circular Head Scallop area was opened. The TAC was maintained at 1033 tonnes and to be reviewed when 75% is caught.
On 2 October the Scallop Fishermen's Association of Tasmania (SFAT) voluntarily closed the White Rock Grindstone scallop area due to a sample of scallops returning a paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) level of 0.55mg/kg. A sample later collected on 16 November returned a PST level of 2.7mg/kg, over three time the regulatory limit.
In addition to the Tasmanian commercial scallop season, the Commonwealth-managed Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZSF) opened on 8 July with an initial TAC of 2001 tonnes.
Map of the 2015 commercial scallop fishery open area.
Landed Catch by Month - 2015 Season
* catch taken during the Statewide survey period, not included in the TAC.