Scallop

Image from Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks 2014

Distribution

Commercial scallops (Pecten fumatus) occur along the coast of southeast Australia from central New South Wales through Victoria to Western Australia including Bass Strait and around Tasmania. In Victoria, the species occurs in enclosed bays like Port Phillip Bay as well as in exposed oceanic situations.

Doughboy scallops (Chlamys asperrimus) also occur in Victoria's waters and can also be taken by fishers, but the commercial scallop fishery is primarily based on harvest of commercial scallop.

Stock structure

Commercial scallop in Victorian waters are divided into two biological fish stocks: the ocean stock and Port Phillip Bay stock. The ocean stock includes populations in Bass Strait. The Port Phillip Bay stock is confined to the waters within Port Phillip Bay and is genetically different from scallops in most other locations in south-eastern Australia. 

The ocean stock was classified at the Victorian state scale in the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks report 2014. The Port Phillip Bay stock was not differentiated in this national assessment, but has been assessed separately by The Victorian Fisheries Authority. 

Annual catch

Sector

Victorian Catch: Ocean stock

Catch: Port Phillip Bay stock

Commercial (2015/16 fishing year)

≈ 25 tonnes

*

Recreational (statewide estimate from 2000/01 national survey)

none known

≈ 5.7 tonnes (83,290 scallops of average weight 70 grams)

Indigenous (i.e. 2015/16 customary fishing permits

0 tonnes

0 tonnes

Estimated total

≈ 25 tonnes

*

*The Victorian Fisheries Authority does not release catch information derived from less than 5 commercial licence holders, to protect commercial confidentiality

Stock status 

The table below summarises and explains the status and management of scallops based on: 

  1. Stock status: classification of the biological status of the Port Phillip Bay and Victorian ocean stocks as at 2013.  The classification of the Victorian ocean stock is taken from the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) report 2014 . The Port Phillip Baystock was assessed as at 2015 by Fisheries Victoria.
    Read more about the SAFS assessment approach and classification system.
    Read more about the 2015 survey of Port Phillip Bay scallop biomass
  2. Management settings: overview of current management arrangements in Victorian waters, including any recent changes that may affect stock status.
  3. Risk management category: The Victorian Fisheries Authority's overall, qualitative assessment of current risk to stock status in Victorian waters taking into account management arrangements, based on the best information currently available:

    Red Red - current management measures may not be sufficient to prevent stock depletion
    Amber Amber - current management measures expected to mitigate risk of stock depletion
    Green Green - stock status not of concern under current management

The stock status classification, management settings and risk management category for scallops are all at the scale of Port Phillip Bay and wider Victorian waters. Stock status is based only on sustainability. Management settings and risk management category also consider the steps taken to address stock status. 

Management settings are also influenced by social and economic factors, and can take some time to affect a stock's status. This can depend on biological and environmental factors as well as the type and level of management changes implemented.

Port Phillip Bay stock

Stock status (2013 data)

Key management settings

Risk management category

Classification:

sustainable

Commercial harvest is predominantly managed by limited entry licensing, a total allowable commercial catch and restrictions on size and gear, while recreational fishers are subject to gear and bag limits

Read more about the fishing methods and rules for scallop in Victoria.

Read more about baseline management arrangements for the Scallop Dive (Port Phillip Bay) Fishery.

Green

Evidence:

Collectively, the following data provide evidence that this stock  is sustainable:

Available information does not indicate stock status concerns

Basis for stock status classification

Biomass assessment

The above evidence indicates that the biomass of this stock is unlikely to be recruitment overfished

Fishing pressure assessment

The above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing pressure is unlikely to cause the stock to become recruitment overfished

Ocean stock

Stock status (2013 data)

Key management settings

Risk management category

Classification:

undefined

Commercial harvest is predominantly managed by limited entry licensing, a total allowable commercial catch and restrictions on size and gear.  

Scallop abundance is naturally highly variable over time.  No quota was made available in this fishery from 2010-2013 due to very low stock abundance.  Since 2013-14, a conservative quota of 135 tonnes has been allocated.

Read more detail here about the fishing methods and rules for scallop in Victoria.

Amber

Evidence:

Collectively, the following data provide evidence that this stock  is undefined: 

  • fishery dependent data: catch and effort reporting
  • fishery independent data: proportion of spawning stock protected by minimum size limits

The current conservative quota is considered sufficient to mitigate risk of stock depletion.

Basis for stock status classification (from SAFS 2014)

Biomass assessment

Based on this evidence, SAFS 2014 concluded that there was insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.

Fishing pressure assessment

Based on this evidence, SAFS 2014 concluded that there was insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.

Read more about the assessment of ocean scallop stock status as at 2013 in the national Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks (SAFS) report 2014.

More information

More information on the commercial scallop fishery in Victoria can be found at Commercial scallop fishery and at The Scallop Dive (Port Phillip Bay) Fishery.