The Southern Scallop Fishery (SCA 7)

The Southern Scallop (SCA 7) fishery is closed to fishing. It will remain closed until scallop populations recover. Find out what's happening with SCA 7 and how to stay informed.

What is the status of the fishery?

The Minister of Fisheries closed the Southern Scallop (SCA 7) fishery (Marlborough Sounds, Golden Bay, and Tasman Bay, as well as Port Underwood) in 2017 to the possession or taking of scallops. This followed a fall in scallop biomass despite closures to the fishery since 2016.

Find out about the closure

Scallop biomass has continued to fall despite the 2017 closure. It is still too low to support sustainable fishing.

Report of the most recent scallop biomass survey in the Marlborough Sounds [PDF, 1.6 MB]

We are implementing a strategy to:

  • make sure any scallop fishing will be sustainable
  • allow the fishery to rebuild to healthy levels.

Timeline of the Southern Scallop fishery

SCA 7 catch has fluctuated a lot since commercial fishing began in the 1950s. The last 10 years have seen a significant and continuous decline.

Clicking or tapping on this graph will make it bigger.


Implementing a strategy towards scallop recovery

The Southern Scallop Strategy: Marlborough Sounds has been approved and will be rolled out soon. The strategy was developed by the Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG).

This strategy includes objectives to improve the management of the Marlborough Sounds scallop fishery, and the ecosystem that supports it. The strategy aims to guide the rebuilding of southern scallop populations to a healthy level as soon as possible. This will provide a sustainable fisheries resource for generations to come.

Related documents and updates on the strategy

What about the rest of SCA 7 (Golden Bay and Tasman Bay)?

As the Marlborough Sounds strategy is implemented, the SSWG will consider how to manage and restore the Golden Bay and Tasman Bay scallop fisheries, which includes Croisilles Harbour. Both fisheries include historically important sites for scallops. They were not prioritised as part of this strategy because they have very low biomass.

The Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG)

The Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG) brings together iwi, commercial and recreational sectors of the fishery, and scientists and fisheries managers. It provides a platform for input into the future management of the fishery.

The members of the SSWG bring a variety of relevant experience and skills to the group.

SSWG members list [PDF, 104 KB]

Who to contact

If you have any questions, email

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