*

Commercial Scallop (2018)

Pecten fumatus

  • Jayson Semmens (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Harry Gorfine (Victorian Fisheries Authority)
  • Nic Marton (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences)

You are currently viewing a report filtered by jurisdiction. View the full report.

Toggle content

Summary

Australia has four stocks of Commercial Scallop. Two are sustainable – the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery and the Port Phillip Bay Dive Scallop Fishery. Two are classified as depleted – the Tasmanian Scallop Fishery and Victoria’s Ocean Scallop Fishery.

Toggle content

Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Victoria Ocean Scallop Fishery OSF Depleted Biomass surveys, catch
Victoria Port Phillip Bay Dive Scallop Fishery PPBDSF Sustainable Biomass surveys, size composition, catch
OSF
Ocean Scallop Fishery (VIC)
PPBDSF
Port Phillip Bay Dive Scallop Fishery (VIC)
Toggle content

Stock Structure

There are several Commercial Scallop beds fished commercially in Commonwealth, Victorian and Tasmanian waters. These beds often contain different age classes of scallop and most have been fished at some stage in the past. Commercial Scallops in Port Phillip Bay (Victoria) and D’Entrecasteaux Channel (Tasmania) are genetically distinct from conspecifics in most other locations in south eastern Australia [Ovenden et al. 2016, Semmens et al 2015, Woodburn 1990]. Beds in north eastern Bass Strait are also genetically distinct to adjacent Bass Strait beds and may not contribute to wider recruitment based on biophysical models of larval movement [Ovenden et al. 2016]. Here, assessment of stock status is reported at the management unit level—Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (Commonwealth), Ocean Scallop Fishery (Victoria), Port Phillip Bay Dive Scallop Fishery (Victoria) and Tasmania Scallop Fishery.

Toggle content

Stock Status

Ocean Scallop Fishery

The Victorian Scallop (Ocean) Fishery extends out from the coastline to 20 nautical miles. Since the commercial fishery began in the 1970s, catches have varied greatly from year to year. Prompted by poor catches during the mid-to late-2000s, fishery independent surveys of historically fished scallop beds in 2009 [Harrington et al. 2010] and 2012 [Semmens and Jones 2012] found low scallop densities and negligible recruitment. Consequently, the TAC for the 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 fishing seasons was set at zero. A TAC of 135 t was set for the following four seasons to allow limited exploratory fishing and determine if there had been any stock recovery. Only a small portion of the 135 t TAC has been harvested during this time with zero catch reported for the 2017–18 season.

A further abundance survey covering the historical fishing grounds in eastern Victoria was undertaken in late December 2017 and early January 2018 [Koopman et al. 2018]. Results from this survey have indicated a continued low level of abundance and recruitment throughout the fishery. Whilst the survey did locate a very small number of beds containing commercially available scallops, they were not at a level or density considered sufficient to provide ongoing recruitment to the fishery.

The scallop bed containing the highest abundance of adult scallops greater than the legal minimum length of 80 mm located during the survey had an estimated biomass of 386 t. The density of this bed was estimated at 0.51 individuals per m2. Aligning with the Bass Strait Central Zone Commercial Scallop fishery harvest strategy [AFMA 2014] an area containing a minimum abundance estimate of 1 500 t adult spawning stock of high density (above 0.2 individuals per m2) is recognised as being sufficient to maintain ongoing recruitment in a scallop fishery.

The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is likely to be depleted and that recruitment is likely to be impaired. The above evidence indicates that current fishing mortality is constrained by management to a level that should allow the stock to recover from its recruitment impaired state; however measurable improvements are yet to be detected. Environmental factors appear to have prevented such recovery rather than the effects of fishing and a cautious approach has been implemented to support recovery.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Ocean Scallop Fishery (Victoria) management unit is classified as a depleted stock.

Port Phillip Bay Dive Scallop Fishery

Dredging for Commercial Scallops in Port Phillip Bay ceased in 1997. A single licence was issued for the take of Commercial Scallop in a new Port Phillip Bay Dive Scallop Fishery in 2013. A survey conducted in 2014 estimated that the total harvestable biomass of Commercial Scallops within fishable areas of Port Phillip Bay was 3 629 t [DEPI 2014]. A TACC equating to four per cent of the estimated harvestable biomass (146 t) was then set for the 2015–16 fishing season (1 April–30 March), and further increased to 250 t during 2016–17 in line with revised estimates of biomass from surveys [Gwyther 2015]. In 2017–18 the TACC for the Scallop Dive (Port Phillip Bay) Fishery was set at 60 t, or < 2 per cent of estimated biomass, when it became clear the TACC was far in excess of annual catches.

A conservative TACC, combined with the protection afforded by a minimum legal size (90 mm shell length [DEDJTR 2016].

Recreational fishing for Commercial Scallops is popular off the coast of the Bellarine Peninsula between Portarlington and St. Leonards, and to the north of the Mornington Peninsula from Point Nepean to Dromana [DEPI 2013]. While there are no current estimates of the recreational take of Commercial Scallop in Victorian waters, a survey in 2000–01 estimated that it was in the order of 5.7 t [Henry and Lyle 2003].

The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be depleted, recruitment is unlikely to be impaired, and the current level of fishing mortality is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired.

On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Port Phillip Bay Dive Scallop Fishery (Victoria) management unit is classified as a sustainable stock.

Toggle content

Biology

Commercial Scallop biology [Ovenden et al. 2016, Semmens et al. 2015, Woodburn 1990, Young, et al. 1989]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Commercial Scallop 7+ years, > 120 mm SL 2 years, 70–80 mm SL , depending on region
Toggle content

Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Commercial Scallop

Toggle content

Tables

Fishing methods
Victoria
Commercial
Dredges
Charter
Diving
Hand held- Implements
Recreational
Diving
Hand held- Implements
Management methods
Method Victoria
Charter
Bag and possession limits
Licence
Spatial closures
Commercial
Effort limits
Gear restrictions
Licence
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial closures
Total allowable catch
Indigenous
Customary fishing permits
Recreational
Bag and possession limits
Licence
Spatial closures
Catch
Victoria
Indigenous Unknown (No catch under permit)
Recreational Unknown

Commonwealth catch is presented for 2017.

Victoria – Commercial (catch) (a) To protect commercial confidentiality of data, the catch in the Ocean Scallop Fishery (Victoria) and Port Phillip Bay Dive Scallop Fishery (Victoria) cannot be reported because there are fewer than five licence holders; and (b) In Victoria, the reporting period is fishing season, which runs from 1 April–30 March.

Victoria – Indigenous (Management Methods) In Victoria, regulations for managing recreational fishing may not apply to fishing activities by Indigenous people. Victorian traditional owners may have rights under the Commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993 to hunt, fish, gather and conduct other cultural activities for their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs without the need to obtain a licence. Traditional Owners that have agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) may also be authorised to fish without the requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence. Outside of these arrangements, Indigenous Victorians can apply for permits under the Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic) that authorise fishing for specific Indigenous cultural ceremonies or events (for example, different catch and size limits or equipment). There were no Indigenous permits granted in 2017 and hence no Indigenous catch recorded.

Toggle content

Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Commercial Scallop - note confidential catch not shown.

Toggle content

References

  1. Australian Fisheries Management Authority 2007, Harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery. Australian Fisheries Management Authority: Canberra.
  2. Australian Fisheries Management Authority 2012, Harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery. Australian Fisheries Management Authority: Canberra.
  3. Australian Fisheries Management Authority 2014, Harvest Strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery. Australian Fisheries Management Authority: Canberra.
  4. Australian Fisheries Management Authority 2015, Harvest Strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery. Australian Fisheries Management Authority: Canberra.
  5. DEDJTR 2016, Draft Port Phillip Scallop Dive Fishery Management Plan. Fisheries Victoria: Melbourne.
  6. DEPI 2013, Commercial Scallop Dive Fishery (Port Phillip Bay) Baseline Management Arrangements. Fisheries Victoria: Melbourne.
  7. DEPI 2014, Commercial Scallop Dive Fishery (Port Phillip) – Survey Results for 2014. Fisheries Victoria: Melbourne
  8. Gwyther, D 2015, Review of The TACC For the Dive Fishery for Scallops in Port Phillip Bay – Report to Port Phillip Bay Scallops, 27 March 2015. Melbourne: Picton Group Pty Ltd, 6 pp.
  9. Harrington, J, Leporati, S and Semmens, JM 2010, 2009 Victorian Scallop Fishery Survey, final report to Fisheries Victoria. Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, University of Tasmania: Hobart.
  10. Henry, GW and Lyle, JM 2003, The National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey - project 99/158 FRDC: Canberra.
  11. Knuckey, I, Koopman, M and Davis, M 2015, Bass Strait and Central Zone Scallop Fishery — 2015 Survey, project 2015/001291. Australian Fisheries Management Authority: Canberra.
  12. Knuckey, I, Koopman, M, Hudson, R, Davis, M and Sullivan, A 2017, Bass Strait and Central Zone Scallop Fishery — 2017 Survey, project 2016/0806, Australian Fisheries Management Authority: Canberra.Australian Fisheries Management Authority 2015, Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery Resource Assessment Group (ScallopRAG) Meeting 23, Meeting Minutes; Date: 2 March 2015. AFMA: Canberra.
  13. Koopman, M, Knuckey, I, Harris, M and Hudson, R 2018, Eastern Victorian Ocean Scallop Fishery – 2017-18 Abundance Survey. Report to the Victorian Fisheries Authority. Fishwell Consulting. 42pp.
  14. Ovenden, JR, Tillett, BJ, Macbeth, M, Broderick, D, Filardo, F, Street, R, Tracey, SR and Semmens, J 2016, Stirred but not shaken: population and recruitment genetics of the scallop (Pecten fumatus) in Bass Strait, Australia. ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil.
  15. Peterson, CH, Summerson, HC and Fegley, SR 1988, Ecological consequences of mechanical harvesting of clams. Fishery Bulletin, 85(2): p. 281–298.
  16. Semmens, J, Ewing, G and Keane J 2018, Tasmanian Scallop Fishery Assessment 2017. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. 34p.
  17. Semmens, JM and Jones, N 2012, Victorian scallop fishery survey final report. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania: Hobart.
  18. Semmens, JM, Ovenden, JR, Jones, NAR, Mendo, TC, Macbeth, M, Broderick, D, Filardo, F, Street, R, Tracey, SR and Buxton, CD 2015, Establishing fine-scale industry based spatial management and harvest strategies for the Commercial Scallop fishery in South East Australia, final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, project 2008/022. FRDC: Canberra.
  19. Woodburn, L 1990, Genetic variation in southern Australian Pecten, in Proceedings of the Australasian Scallop Workshop. Tasmanian Government: Hobart.
  20. Young, P and Martin, R 1989, The scallop fisheries of Australia and their management. Reviews in Aquatic Sciences, 1(4): p. 615-638.