The Southern Scallop Fishery (SCA 7)
The Southern Scallop (SCA 7) fishery is closed to fishing. It will remain closed until scallop populations recover. Find out what's happening with SCA 7 and how to stay informed.
What is the status of the fishery?
The Minister of Fisheries closed the Southern Scallop (SCA 7) fishery (Marlborough Sounds, Golden Bay, and Tasman Bay, as well as Port Underwood) in 2017 to the possession or taking of scallops. This followed a fall in scallop biomass despite closures to the fishery since 2016.
Scallop biomass has continued to fall despite the 2017 closure. It is still too low to support sustainable fishing.
We are implementing a strategy to:
- make sure any scallop fishing will be sustainable
- allow the fishery to rebuild to healthy levels.
Timeline of the Southern Scallop fishery
SCA 7 catch has fluctuated a lot since commercial fishing began in the 1950s. The last 10 years have seen a significant and continuous decline.
Clicking or tapping on this graph will make it bigger.
The infographic has a graph with the heading "History of the commerical Southern Scallap fishery". A map shows where the fishery is located at the top of the South Island. The graph shows the reported landings of scallops in the Southern Scallop fishery from 1950 to 2020. From the 1950s to the late 1970s there was a period of "regulatory open access" in the fishery, and scallop landings reached an all-time peak in 1975 at 1244 tonnes of meatweight. Following this peak there was a sharp decline in landings, and between 1981 and 1982 the fishery was closed due to low biomass. In 1983 the fishery reopened with limited licensing, and landings began to steadily increase again in the years following. In 1992 the fishery was introduced to the Quota Management System (QMS). Total landings of the fishery fluctuated between 200 and 800 tonnes meatweight until 2002, when both Golden Bay and Tasman Bay fisheries saw a large decline. Following this, commercial scallop harvesting was mostly carried out in the Marlborough Sounds. Landings continued to decline until the fishery was closed in 2016.
Implementing a strategy towards scallop recovery
The Southern Scallop Strategy: Marlborough Sounds has been approved and will be rolled out soon. The strategy was developed by the Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG).
This strategy includes objectives to improve the management of the Marlborough Sounds scallop fishery, and the ecosystem that supports it. The strategy aims to guide the rebuilding of southern scallop populations to a healthy level as soon as possible. This will provide a sustainable fisheries resource for generations to come.
What about the rest of SCA 7 (Golden Bay and Tasman Bay)?
As the Marlborough Sounds strategy is implemented, the SSWG will consider how to manage and restore the Golden Bay and Tasman Bay scallop fisheries, which includes Croisilles Harbour. Both fisheries include historically important sites for scallops. They were not prioritised as part of this strategy because they have very low biomass.
The Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG)
The Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG) brings together iwi, commercial and recreational sectors of the fishery, and scientists and fisheries managers. It provides a platform for input into the future management of the fishery.
The members of the SSWG bring a variety of relevant experience and skills to the group.
SSWG members list [PDF, 104 KB]
Who to contact
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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