University of Tasmania

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Tasmanian scallop fishery assessment 2017

posted on 2023-05-25, 19:05 authored by Jayson SemmensJayson Semmens, Graeme EwingGraeme Ewing, John KeaneJohn Keane
The Tasmanian Scallop Fishery (TSF) is managed with a harvest strategy where surveys are undertaken to estimate abundance and decision rules are used to open areas to fishing with total allowable catches (TACs) based on the estimated abundance.

Biomass in the Tasmanian Scallop Fishery (TSF) is historically overfished with recruitment and production levels now affected. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, surveys generally found low scallop densities and limited evidence of successful recent recruitment, but did identify two beds (one on the north-west coast and the other on the east coast) containing commercial quantities. Surveys in 2016 and again in 2017 generally only found very low levels of scallop abundance and limited evidence of successful recruitment, with no area considered to contain commercially viable quantities in either year. This includes the east and north-west coast beds fished in 2013-2015, which appeared to have been fished down to a commercially unviable density, with no subsequent recruitment evident.

Fishing mortality is managed with the aim of restricting catches to beds of mature scallops near the end of their lifespan. The combination of the harvest strategy and depleted biomass has led to a history of closures due to low abundance. In recent times, the fishery was closed between 2000-2002 and again between 2009 and 2010. . Areas with commercial density of scallops were opened to fishing each year between 2013 and 2015. On the basis that biomass is depleted, and that current restrictions of fishing mortality have not yet led to recovery of recruitment, the TSF is classified as overfished.


Commissioning body

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania






Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania

Place of publication

Hobart, Tasmania

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine biodiversity

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