Southern Scallops 7 (SCA7) management 2014
In January 2014 the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) issued proposals for the future management of Southern Scallops, Scallop 7 (SCA7).
SCA7 extends from Cape Farewell in the west to the Tory Channel in the east, at the top of the South Island.
MPI asked for feedback on their two proposed management options. The NZSFC consider both options are unacceptable and alternative management recommendations were submitted in February.
MPI limited public consultation to 18 working days. Any changes will be implemented by 1 April 2014.
On March 20th the Minister confirmed he had followed the Ministry's advice and reduced the commercial catch limit from 747 to 400 tonnes. NZSFC submitted against such a high TACC because the scallop population is depleted, Tasman and Golden Bays are closed to commercial dredging and the 400 t catch level would enable those dredges to be used in the fragile environs of the Marlborough Sounds.
On 27 January 2014 MPI released a discussion paper proposing two management options for Southern Scallops (SCA7). One option was the status quo, the other was a reduced Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC). No changes to the allowances for recreational or customary interests were proposed. Submission deadline was 21 February.
On 20 February the Ministry advised a new management option, commonly referred to as the 'Talley's' option. MPI also advised an extension to the submission period. The new deadline was 3 March.
Below is a chronological list of the proposal, related documents and submissions.
Click on the right hand image to download the document. Most recent activity is at the top of the list.
Since 2002 the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for upper South Island scallops has been 747 tonnes. In recent years commercial landings have been less than 50 tonnes per annum. In February we were given only 18 working days to respond to a complex management review of this fishery and selected crayfish stocks.
After waiting all December the Ministry for Primary Industries finally released its consultation papers for Southern Scallops at the end of January. MPI has only given us 18 working days to respond. For such an important fishery this is a disgrace and the NZ Sport Fishing Council will be strongly objecting to this process.
On 20 March Nathan Guy advised he would be reducing the TAC and TACC for commercial fishers. The new 400 tonne TACC represents almost 10 times the amount of scallops that commercial fishers have harvested from the Marlborough Sounds in the past few years. Any hopes of a rebuild in the Sounds are dashed with this decision.
The Ministry for Primary Industries change two of the three management options in their Final Advice Paper to the Minister. They recommend the Minister implement the option that closely resembles the 'Talley's' option. Nathan Guy duly obliged.
New Zealanders are missing out on crayfish and scallops because management favours commercial and export priorities ahead of public interests. People are particularly concerned about overfishing of crayfish in the greater Hauraki Gulf/Bay of Plenty marine area, and the collapsed scallop fishery at the top of the South Island.
LegaSea launches the Crayfish and Scallop campaign. LegaSea shares the NZSFC crayfish and scallop submissions with supporters and invites people to sign an e-letter to the Minister, Nathan Guy. Over 34,000 people responding and supported both letters.
The NZSFC-LegaSea team submit an alternative management option be implemented to rebuild the Southern Scallop fishery within a reasonable timeframe. Abundance and diversity in the marine ecosystem needs to be restored now. Until the fishery is rebuilt the commercial catch limit, the TACC, ought to be set at zero in Golden Bay, Tasman Bay and the Marlborough Sounds. Any scallops within the Sounds above the non-commercial yield are required to remain in the water to support the marine ecosystem and contribute to the rebuild.
MPI received 31 submissions from a variety of stakeholders. This document is a copy of those submissions. MPI advise the Minister that four submitters supported the alternative 64 tonne TAC proposed in the NZSFC-LegaSea submission. MPI also note the concerns raised about the truncated consultation process. Their response is that they consider "the five-week consultation period to be reasonable".
MPI advise the submission deadline has been extended by 5 working days, from 21 February to March 3rd. They also advise a new management option. Locals refer to this option as the 'Talley's' option, in recognition of the dominance of Talleys in the upper South Island fisheries. MPI advise this new option "provides some headroom in the TAC to allow for future enhancement and/or rotational fishing operations in Tasman/Golden Bay".
NZSFC summary. Draft recommendations. 5 February 2014
NZSFC-LegaSea team summarise the original management options proposed by the Ministry. The team recommend an alternative management approach after reviewing the available data. There is a serious need to rebuild the southern scallop fishery and reduce the impacts of commercial dredging in the Marlborough Sounds given that Tasman and Golden Bays were already closed to commercial effort.
MPI ask for feedback on two options for the future management of Southern Scallops (SCA7). They propose the Minister retains the status quo or decreases the TAC from 827 to 130 tonnes and decreases the TACC from 747 to 46 tonnes. A third management option was circulated on 20 February. MPI later advised on two different management options in their final advice paper to the Minister, before he made his decision. MPI letter and proposals were dated 24 January and released on 27 January.
MPI advise a review of the sustainability controls for Southern Scallops (SCA7). They propose the Minister reduces the TAC and TACC applying in SCA7. The current catch levels were set in 2002 when the fishery was at a high and landings were around 717 tonnes. Abundance has declined and landings have averaged less than 50 tonnes over the past few years.
This Plenary document summarises the state of the Southern Scallop stock and management of the fishery over time. If you are looking for specific details about how and when then start with this document. Plenary documents are periodically reviewed by a team of science and management personnel.