Top of the south scallop season opening soon
13 July 2011
The Ministry of Fisheries is calling on scallop fishers to follow the rules when they go fishing in the Marlborough Sounds and Tasman and Golden bays.
The recreational season for gathering scallops in these areas starts on Friday 15 July.
“Fishers need to make sure they know the bag and size limits and seasons before they go scalloping,” Regional Manager John Slaughter said.
The minimum legal size of scallops in the Challenger area (see below) is 90 millimetres measured across the widest part of the shell.
“Taking undersized scallops removes the juveniles before they have a chance to spawn,” Mr Slaughter said.
The legal bag limit for scallops is 50 per fisher per day. In addition, divers are entitled to take an extra daily bag for each of up to two safety people on board a boat – provided they are acting as safety people for the divers.
Otherwise, only those actively involved in fishing are entitled to a daily bag limit. For scallop dredgers, this means those who are actively involved in deploying or hauling the dredge.
“I also remind fishers that all scallops landed must be in a measurable state. This includes transporting on the water from a permanent or temporary place of residence,” Mr Slaughter said.
Fishery Officers will be patrolling and inspecting scallop catches. Fines of $250 to $500 per offence can be imposed on fishers who ignore the rules. Serious breaches can result in confiscation of dive gear, boats and vehicles.
“Fishery Officers have the job of protecting our fish stocks for future generations; they don’t want to write tickets but if you ignore the rules you leave them no choice,” Mr Slaughter said.
“If you see people taking more than their fair share, you should report them by calling 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). They are stealing from you and from future generations.”
The scallop season in the top of the south closes on 14 February 2012. The closure allows scallops to spawn without being disturbed.
The Challenger Fishery Management Area stretches from Awarua Point (south of Haast) on the West Coast of the South Island to Clarence River on the East Coast including Golden Bay, Tasman Bay and the Marlborough Sounds.