Feedback sought on proposal to temporarily close scallop fishery
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is looking for public feedback on proposals to extend the closure of the South Scallop fishery which covers the top of the South Island.
The Ministry's manager inshore fisheries, Steve Halley, says a survey in January shows the amount of scallops in the fishery continues to decline despite being closed last season.
"Some individual scallop beds have stabilised during last season’s closure. However, overall the fishery, including in the Marlborough Sounds, is close to its lowest recorded levels.
"The proposed closure would be in place through the entire 2017 season, which runs from 15 July 2017 to 14 February 2018.
"I’d encourage everyone who takes part in this fishery to provide us with their feedback. All feedback will help us arrive at the best possible decisions for this fishery.
"As part of last year's consultation on the management of this fishery, submitters told us longer term closures would provide the best opportunity to support an increase in scallop numbers.
"MPI has worked with Tangata Whenua, recreational and commercial fishers to develop these proposals. In addition, a multi-sector working group has been established to ensure all sectors have input into the development of long term management options for the fishery.
"Once developed these options will be presented to the Minister for Primary Industries for consideration."