Scallops & dredge oysters

Gathering shellfish, such as scallops and oysters, is a popular recreational fishing activity for many New Zealanders, particularly during the warmer seasons. Learn more about the specific rules and guidelines you need to follow when gathering shellfish to protect the sustainability of shellfish populations.

Daily catch and legal size limits

The daily catch and legal size limits for scallops and oysters vary from area to area. It's important that you check the rules in your area every time you head out fishing. If you eat any shellfish caught during your trip, you must also count them as part your daily catch limit.

Use safe and sustainable practices

To stay safe on the water and protect the sustainability of New Zealand scallops and dredge oysters:

  • dive in pairs
  • have at least 2 safety people out of the water to be able to respond to emergencies
  • keep within the size and bag limits
  • measure and count the shellfish as you collect them
  • count what you eat as part of your daily catch limit.

Find out more

Diving for Scallops and Dredge Oysters [PDF, 1 MB]
A summary of the rules and methods for gathering scallops and oysters, including daily catch limits and legal size information, measurement instructions, and safe diving methods and guidelines.


Report poaching

Report poaching, suspicious, or illegal activity – call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 47 62 24) or email

You can help us by providing:

  • the location
  • vehicle/trailer registration number
  • boat name
  • description of the person

When reporting any suspected poaching put your personal safety first. All calls and personal details are treated as confidential.

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