Have your say on Port Phillip Bay scallop dive fishery

Fisheries Victoria is calling for public comment on the draft Port Phillip Scallop Dive Fishery Management Plan.

Fisheries Victoria has today released the draft Port Phillip Scallop Dive Fishery Management Plan for public comment.

Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Travis Dowling, said the plan outlines proposed management arrangements for the next five years so that recreational, commercial and conservation interests have a clear framework for sustainably managing the valuable resource.

“The draft plan maintains existing recreational fishing arrangements for scallops, including recreational fishing only areas, and details the process for setting the annual total allowable commercial catch that is harvested under the single licence,” Mr Dowling said.

“The bay’s commercial scallop dive fishery was established in 2013 with a harvest limit of 12 tonnes, consistent with a new fishery and the need to ‘explore’ its viability.

“A 2014 stock assessment by Fisheries Victoria revealed a larger population of scallops in several locations throughout the bay, which resulted in the 2015 annual commercial limit being increased to 146 tonnes.

“While recreational divers can take scallops of any size anywhere in the bay, excluding marine parks, commercial scallop diving is restricted to defined zones away from popular recreational diving spots and must also adhere to a minimum size of 90mm.

“The draft plan proposes that, based on annual stock assessments before each season, the commercial catch be restricted to less than 20 per cent of scallops above 90 mm.

“It will also be a requirement of this developing fishery that at least 75% of the previous year’s allowable catch be harvested before allowing any increases in catch the next year.”

Mr Dowling said the draft plan aimed to balance the desires of recreational divers to harvest scallops from shallower and more accessible waters with the licence holder’s need for scale of economy for long term business viability and investment security.

Two public forums are scheduled for November in Queenscliff (10th) and Mornington (11th) to discuss the plan further with stakeholders from all sectors.

Written submissions on the draft plan must be received by 14 December, 2015.

To learn more, or read the plan, visit



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