Nelson/Marlborough commercial scallop season extended
12 January 2001
The Ministry of Fisheries has approved an extension of the commercial fishing season in the southern scallop fishery for the 2000/01 fishing year. This will allow commercial fishing to continue during the period 15 February to 31 March 2001. The extension is for the current year only and does not apply to recreational fishing.
A spokesman for the Ministry, Kim Drummond, said the decision followed a request from the Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company Limited in late 2000, and a consultation round with representative interests in the fishery.
The 2000/01 commercial fishery was able to start as early as 15 July 2000, but in an attempt to allow scallops to reach a better size, commercial fishers did not begin dredging until late October 2000. This delay, along with continued variability in scallop size, has led to a lower catch than usual.
The rules for the extended commercial season are unchanged. These include an overall total allowable commercial catch of 720 tonnes, restricted fishing zones and a range of biological and effort controls. Commercial fishing will also be subject to public health restrictions and will not occur if biotoxin 'trigger' levels are breached.
It was important the wider public should note that the season extension does not apply to recreational fishing, said Mr Drummond. Recreational fishers have generally enjoyed good fishing since the season opened last July and the recreational season will still close on 14 February 2001.
The extension to the commercial season is supported by the other participants in the fishery, including the Challenger Scallop and Dredge Oyster Recreational Advisory Group.
For more information please contact:
Ministry of Fisheries, Nelson.
Telephone: (03) 548 1069
Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company Limited
Telephone: (03) 548 0711
Challenger Scallop and Dredge Oyster Recreational Advisory Group
Telephone: (03) 526 6869