Fisheries Infosite

Fishery - Coromandel Scallops

Key statistics
Recreational significance High
Customary significance High
Environmental importance High
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
Related links
Opportunities and challenges
  • Managing scallops for all sectors
  • Improving understanding of environmental factors on scallop abundance
  • Monitoring pollution

The Coromandel scallop fishery extends from Cape Rodney to Town Point. Scallops are a highly valued species and support important commercial, recreational and customary fisheries.  The recreational scallop fishing season begins on 1 September and closes on 31 March.  The commercial season season begins 15 July and closes on 21 December.

The abundance of Coromandel scallops can vary rapdily in response to environmental conditions.  As a result, the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) is set a very lows at the start of the season (22t meat weight TACC).  If a survey is conducted before the season begins the estimate of abundance of scallops for the survey year is used to adjust the catch limit.  The results of this survey become available after the season has started and the Ministry of Fisheries then works closely with the commercial fishers and other stakeholders to establish a sustainable and cautious in-season increase to the total allowable catch.  In the 2008 season this resulted in an increase in the baseline TACC of 22t to 95t meat weight.  Recreational and customary allowances were also increased from 7.5t to 10t and the allowance for other sources of fishing related mortality was increased from 11t to 33t meat weight.  At the end of the season the TACC for the following year returns to 22t.

Research is currently being undertaken on the abundance of scallops in the most popular recreational beds in the Coromandel fishery to better understand the relationship between the recreational and commercial scallop beds. This research, together with estimates of recreational catch, will provide better information to support management of the fishery for all sectors.