Coromandel Scallop fishery


coromandel scallop management area

The Coromandel scallop fishery is the second largest in the country, behind the Marlborough-Tasman fishery. 

Management of commercial scallop fishing has been controversial over the years resulting in some areas of high public interest in the Hauraki Gulf being closed to commercial harvesting. 

Recreational fishers object to the continued use of the Victorian box dredge by commercial scallop fishers, due to the damaging effects on benthic life and the continued destruction of once-healthy scallop beds. 

Commercial catch levels in the Coromandel fishery was historically based on annual abundance surveys of known scallop beds. The last biomass survey was conducted in 2012. 

In the 2013 the Minister for Primary Industries increased the the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) from 22 to 100 tonnes and it remains at this level. Commercial landings over the past 8 years have averaged 47 tonnes. Commercial landings in 2014/15 was 34 tonnes.

In 2016 the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) proposed two options for the future management of Coromandel scallops: the status quo or a 50% reduction in the TACC. 

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council (NZSFC) advocates that MPI works with all stakeholders to develop an agreed management plan incorporating in-season catch and effort controls, and an annual public report outlining harvest strategies and commercial operations. This would make management more transparent and give the public some confidence that this fish stock is being managed in the long-term interests of the fishery and future generations. 

Click on the image to download the document. Most recent activity is at the top of the list.


NZSFC Submission. 11 February 2016

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council recommends the Minister exercises his statutory powers and obligations to prohibit the use of Victorian box dredges in the Coromandel scallop fishery due to their damaging effects on scallops, benthic communities and habitats that sustain other species. 

NZSFC summary. 27 January 2016

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council review of the Ministry’s proposal and their views on the future management of the Coromandel scallop fishery. This document also outlines the Council’s initial concerns about the proposals and the ongoing mismanagement of this important fishery for the people of the Hauraki Gulf and western Bay of Plenty. 

MPI proposal document. 14 January 2016

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) propose two options for the future management of the Coromandel scallop fishery: 1. the status quo, or 2. cut the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) by 50%. This document outlines the Ministry’s proposal, the rationale for their proposal and initial views from commercial stakeholders. 

MPI plenary. November 2012

This plenary document outlines the historic management of the Coromandel scallop fishery. It provides past commercial catch landings and catch limits. The document also explains the biology and other stock related factors relevant to the management of this important fishery. The plenary is an approved Ministry document reviewed by Ministry and external scientists and stakeholders. Plenaries are reviewed on a regular basis, depending on the availability of new information.


Minister’s decision for 1 April 2013

Nathan Guy, the Minister for Primary Industries, has decided to increase the Coromandel scallop Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC). The TAC increases from 48 to 131 tonnes. The
TACC increases from 22 to 100 tonnes and the non-commercial allowances increase from 7.5 to 10 tonnes. The
allowance for other mortality remains at 11 tonnes.  

This decision was received on 21 March and will apply from 1 April. The NZSFC will be responding in due course. 

nathan guy, minister for primary industries

NZSFC Submission – TAC review. 8 February 2013

Until there is better understanding of the newly discovered scallops beds in the Hauraki Gulf, the Minister must retain the current commercial catch levels in the Coromandel Scallop fishery. The NZ Sport Fishing Council also recommend the Minister increases the baseline allowances for non-commercial fishing interests, to ensure all potential mortality remains within the Total Allowable Catch (TAC). 

nzsfc coromandel scallop submission

NZSFC Summary of issues – January 2013

A New Zealand Sport Fishing Council summary of the Coromandel Scallop fishery management proposals from the Ministry for Primary Industries. These proposals benefit commercial interests and the Ministry, to the detriment of non-commercial fishing interests. Recommendations include support for the ongoing annual survey process, until there is more known about the new Hauraki Gulf scallop beds. Also ongoing opposition to the use of very high TACs in variable fish stocks, because it enables unconstrained commercial fishing effort.

nzsfc coromandel scallop submission


MPI proposals – TAC review. 20 December 2012

The Ministry for Primary Industries is consulting on an increase to the Total Allowable Catch (TAC), non-commercial allowances and the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for Coromandel Scallops. Submissions are due by 8 February 2013.

MPI scallop proposals

MPI proposals – Initial request for input. 6 December 2012

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ letter advising tangata whenua of the management review and requesting input into the management options. Any feedback would be included in the upcoming consultation document and Final Advice Paper (FAP) provided to the Minister. (MPI noted in the later IPP that they did not receive any specific feedback from iwi). 

MPI scallop proposals

MPI 2012 review FAP – August 2012

The Final Advice Paper (FAP) to the Minister for Primary Industries, David Carter, recommending he set the TAC at 370 tonnes, for the 2012-13 commercial fishing year. This includes an in-season catch increase from 22 tonnes to 325 tonnes. 

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council was not advised of, nor invited to submit to, this review process. Exclusion from the 2012 process was detrimental to our members and supporters’ interests. 

MPI scallop proposals

MPI Plenary – November 2011

This Plenary document includes detailed information on historic and current management of the Coromandel Scallop fishery, yearly catch information and stock level estimates. Worth reading if you want to know the ins and outs of scallop management in New Zealand.

Coromandel scallop plenary 2011


Joint Submission – TAC review. 28 July 2010

A joint non-commercial submission recommending the 2010-11 Total Allowable Catch be set at either 117 or 137 tonnes. MPI had proposed a TAC increase to 147 or 154 tonnes. The joint submitters rejected both of these options. 

This submission was a joint effort from the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, the Hokianga Accord and option4. 

nzsfc coromandel scallop submission


Joint Submission – TAC review. 23 July 2007

A submission made on behalf of non-commercial fishers, specifically the NZSFC (then New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council), the Hokianga Accord, option4, Tauranga Game Fishing Club and Mt Maunganui Sport Fishing Club.

The joint submitters reject both proposals to increase the TAC to either 160 or 165 tonnes, on the grounds of sustainability. A 117 tonne TAC is recommended, including a commercial catch limit of 65 tonnes. However, if commercial dredging could be excluded from Waiheke, Waihi and Papamoa/Motiti beds a commercial catch limit increase to 90 tonnes could be supported.

nzsfc coromandel scallop submission