The Scallop Industry

Commercial scallops (Pectin fumatus) in South Eastern Australia are mostly harvested in Tasmanian state waters managed by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) and in the Bass Strait Central Zone managed by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

Scallop fisheries world wide are notorious for their variability in recruitment with a high variability in stock abundance strongly influenced by environmental factors. Scallop stocks in southern Australia are no exception to this and historically both fisheries have been subject to highly variable annual catches and total fishery closures.

Strict fishery management measures have been successful in minimising the seasonal closures and maximising the economic returns. Measures include preseason surveys, spatial management, total allowable catches, individual transferable quotas, limited entry, gear limitations, seasonal closures and legal minimal sizes.

These strategies are designed to maximise stock rebuilding, protect stock for future access and limits fishing impacts on newly settled spat.
The Scallop Fishermen’s Association of Tasmania (SFAT) actively promotes and protects the best interests of scallop fishermen and processors and negotiates management and season arrangements with the Tasmanian government, DPIPWE and AFMA.

The SFAT also monitors season harvesting and plays an on-going role in assisting industry members to maximise returns on a sustainable basis as well as regular laboratory testing of scallops to ensure that they are always safe for human consumption.