Commercial Scallop

Commercial scallop illustration by Peter GouldthorpeOther names: southern scallop, Tasmanian scallop, king scallop

Scientific name:
Pecten fumatus

Licence​ required.  

See Recreational Fishing Seasons.

Area restrictions:
The D’Entrecasteaux Channel is managed as a separate scallop fishing area to other state waters.

Minimum size:
100 mm

On water possession limit:
50 (species combined)

Bag limit:
50 (species combined)

Possession limit:
100 scallops (on land only) or 3 kilograms of scallop meat. Scallop catch limits are for all scallop species combined.  Only licensed fishers can possess scallops on the water.

See our recreational scallop webpage.

Measure across the widest part of the shell.

Identifying features:
Commercial scallops have a distinctive fan-shaped shell of a pale, pink to red colour with ridges radiating out from the hinge and ‘scalloping’ along the edge.  The shell halves or valves are different with one rounded and the other flat, and a symmetrical hinge or wings is present.  This species has a white, round muscle or meat and orange roe.  Commercial scallops usually lie buried with only the flat valve visible but if disturbed, will actively swim by forcing out water from the shell cavity.

Grows to:
Up to 150 mm.

They are found in depths from 0 -120 metres on soft sediments ranging from mud to coarse sand where they may form dense beds.  Found in Bass Strait and on the east and south-east coasts of Tasmania.

Fishing information:
Scallops are taken recreationally by dive collection.  The D’Entrecasteaux Channel, which historically accounts for 95% of the recreational fishery, is managed as a separate area.  Surveys are done each year before deciding whether to open this area, reduce the season length or increase the size limits.  The Channel has been closed for the past few seasons to allow stocks to recover.  

Responsible fishing tips:
Measure scallops underwater and re-measure when you get to your boat.

The leading edge of the shell can be quite sharp.  Although scallops have closed shells, keep them in the shade or cover with a wet sack to prevent the meat drying out. Sponges growing on shells may cause skin irritations in some people.  

Public Health advice:
Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the Department of Health and Human Services or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.

After shucking scallops, try using saltwater to do the final rinse.  Scallops have a rich flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium-firm, translucent, beige flesh when raw, turning opaque when cooked.  Try steaming, deep or pan frying, stir-frying, grilling or barbequing.

Scallop illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe
Fish for the Future