2021 Commercial Scallop Season

​​​​​​Status: Closed

Decision Regarding 2021 Season

Following the completion of scallop surveys and a meeting of the Scallop Fishery Advisory Committee (ScFAC), the part opening of the commercial scallop fishery was approved.
It will open from 1 September to 31 December with a total allowable catch (TAC) of 1494.9 tonnes or 145kg/ unit.    

The open area is State scallop waters enclosed within reporting blocks 3H3O and 3H3P in the vicinity of Babel Island east of Flinders Island indicated in the map below. 

The open area excludes Commonwealth waters and waters less than 20m deep contained within the area.  All other state waters remain closed.

Map of 2021 scallop commercial harvest area

Map of 2021 scallop commercial harvest area, (i) 39° 52.5'S, 148° 15'E; (ii) 39° 52.5'S, 148° 30'E; (iii) 40° 00'S, 148° 30' E; (iv) 40° 00'S, 148°15'E.

​​The Public Notice below establishing the TAC was published in the Gazette on 20 August and major papers on 21 August 2021.

 Public Notice Scallop TAC Determination August 2021 (PDF 74Kb)

The notice below establishes the open area and season dates for the commercial scallop fishery. 

 Notice Tasmanian Commercial Scallop Fishery 2021 Season Dates and Open Area (PDF 38Kb)

To fish in this year's commercial scallop season licence holders must apply to activate a fishing licence (scallop) by completing the 'Vary a Fishing Licence (Scallop)' application form.  Participating vessels must also have an operating vessel monitoring system (VMS).  

Queries can be directed to the Fisheries Compliance and Monitoring section (03) 6165 3000 or email fisheries.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au.  

Statewide Pre-season Surveys

Scallop surveys of five areas took place during June and July.  The surveys were undertaken by commercial scallop vessels using commercial scallop dredges, following a random stratified survey plan developed by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).  The surveys were overseen by independent IMAS and DPIPWE observers on board the participating vessels.  The scallop surveys were based on scallop areas identified during the 2020 state wide exploratory survey period. Thirty random dredge tows were allocated to each area.  The areas surveyed included: 

  • ​White Rock (east coast Tasmania);
  • Gardens (north east Tasmania);
  • Pot Boil (east Flinders);
  • South Babel (east Flinders); and,
  • North Babel (east Flinders). 

IMAS also undertook a towed camera survey of the White Rock survey area, repeating the survey undertaken in 2020.


Scallop survey locations 2021

Scallop dredge survey tows 2021 (black dots)​

Towed Camera Survey - White Rock Scallop Area 

Following encouraging reports from the dredge survey in the White Rock scallop area IMAS undertook a random towed camera survey (40 randomised towed camera transects) of the area north of White Rock up to the boundary of the Great Oyster Bay Shark Refuge Area.  The aim of the towed camera survey was to obtain an estimate of scallop biomass in the area.​

Below is a short extract from a towed camera transect.

​​The towed camera survey supported the dredge-derived densities, however, found a high proportion of undersize scallops throughout the area.  The analysis of the industry scallop survey and the results of the towed camera survey indicates that stock recovery is occurring following the two year State-wide closure. 

The IMAS towed camera survey report will be available to download once it has been finalised​​.  
Tasmanian State scallop waters will next be surveyed from April 2021.  

The Commonwealth managed Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery (BSCZSF)   opened on  12 July with an initial TAC of 3000 tonnes.   More details can be found on the AFMA website​.  ​ ​


Wild Fisheries Management Branch
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000
Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au