Commercial scallop fishery harvest strategies

Establishing fine-scale, industry-based spatial management and harvest strategies for the commercial scallop fishery in South East Australia

Leader

Jayson Semmens (University of Tasmania)

Co-investigators

Jenny Ovenden, Damien Broderick and Michael Macbeth

Funding body

Supported by funding from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) on behalf of the Australian Government ( 2008/022)

Overview

Marine species with long larval periods like scallops (larval period of approximately one month) are typically assumed to have widespread dispersal and thus comprise open populations that exhibit minimal population structure. Using allozyme genetic techniques appeared to confirm this assumption, demonstrating a very low level of genetic divergence between populations of commercial scallop (Pecten fumatus) in south-eastern Australia, particularly in Bass Strait. However, with the development of improved genetic techniques, the assumption of widespread dispersal and random distribution of marine larvae has been challenged.

The idea of testing the assumption that commercial scallops within south-eastern Australia constitute one stock has been a common topic of discussion for several years. Fishers and managers from all three jurisdictions (Victoria, Tasmania and the Commonwealth) have expressed great interest in determining the population stock status of the species throughout its commercial fishery range.

The aim of this project is to determine the broad and fine-scale stock status of commercial scallops in south-eastern Australia, as well as the effects of fishing methods and spawner density on recruitment success.

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