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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.