CHANGES TO SCALLOP SEASON
27 June 2007
Northlanders wanting to get into the scallops will have to wait a little longer than previous years.
But the wait will be well worth it, as better quality scallops will be expected with the change in seasons.
The season for recreational gathering on North Island’s east coast between North Cape and Cape Runaway is to change from a July opening to September.
The upside on the delayed opening is that it now closes at the end of March instead of the middle of February.
The new season introduced by the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) will now run from 1st September to 31st March and not 15th July to 14 February.
The change recognises that scallops are not in good condition during the early stages of the old season. It will mean young shellfish yet to develop beyond the “snotty” stage do not get unnecessarily smashed or broken by dredges.
MFish hopes Northland’s recreational fishers will benefit from this change in season.
In effect what this does is to leave early season scallops to improve in condition and potentially spawn prior to being harvested and allow recreational fishers to take advantage of scallops in good condition in late February and March when both weather and water conditions are much warmer.
Scallops mature at one year old but do not produce significant numbers of larvae until their third year and normally take at least two years to reach the legal size limit of 100mm.
Divers are reminded that the daily entitlement is 20 per diver with the exception to allow for an additional 20 for up to two safety people on board the diver’s boat.
Recreational divers are required to measure and count scallops on the seabed, and infringement notices range from $250-$500 for having excess or undersize scallops, and Court prosecutions will occur with regard to more serious offending with penalties of up to $20,000 and the forfeiture of boats and dive gear.
Members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476224) if they see any suspicious activity.
Recreational rules - Changes to Scallops