Scallops and oysters: rules and guidelines

Find rules and guidelines you need to follow when gathering scallops and oysters to protect the sustainability of shellfish populations.

Daily catch and legal size limits

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

Check the fishing rules for your area

We have 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:

Guidelines for gathering scallops and dredge oysters [PDF, 1 MB]

Find out more about pāua rules and regulations in your area

Keeping scallops and oysters sustainable

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

  • dive in pairs
  • have at least 2 safety people out of the water who can 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/bag limit.

Report poaching

You can report poaching, suspicious, or illegal activity online:

Report illegal fishing (such as poaching)

You can also:

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.

Who to contact

If you have questions about scallop and oyster rules, email

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