Tasmanian surveys confirm scallop season is not far off

OPEN SEASON: Scallop season will begin in July, with wild-caught shellfish coming direct from the cool, clean waters of Bass Strait.

OPEN SEASON: Scallop season will begin in July, with wild-caught shellfish coming direct from the cool, clean waters of Bass Strait.

If you have a hankering for a fresh Tasmanian scallop, they are not far off.

The scallop season is due to begin next month, after survey boats collected data in Bass Strait to determine how the molluscs were developing.

Devonport-based scallop fisherman Stuart Richey, of Richey Fishing, said the surveys were conducted over 18 days with data sent to scientists to determine the optimum scallop season start date.

“Scientists use the data to decide the [scallop] biomass estimate in different areas,” Mr Richey said.

This information was presented to the Scallop Fishery Advisory Committee, with members expected to make a decision on the scallop season starting date by the end of June.

“Everything is pretty much on track. We expect the season to open two weeks after [the committee’s decision is announced],” Mr Richey said.

“The decision revolves around the condition of the scallops. Scallops are better quality once the roe is developed,” he said.

This point was confirmed by a Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment department spokesperson.

“The opening of the commercial scallop season in Tasmanian state water each year is subject to the outcomes of industry surveys which inform the status of fishable stocks. The season does not normally start until the condition of scallop and roe is good,” the spokesperson said.

Scallop Fishermen’s Association of Tasmania president John Hammond said the clean and cool waters of Bass Strait produced wild-caught scallops with “unique sweet flesh”.

If you are wondering why you have seen some fresh scallops already, they have been collected by the survey fishers.

“A few [scallops] have been trickling into shops. What you’re seeing is the survey ones,” Mr Richey said.

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