The Southern Scallop Fishery (SCA 7)

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

Draft Marlborough Sounds Scallop Strategy

The Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG) and Fisheries New Zealand are seeking your input into the draft Marlborough Sounds Scallop Strategy. We want to ensure that it is addressing the right issues and putting forward the best options to enable the sustainability of the fishery.

The strategy outlines the group’s immediate priority, which is to ensure that any future scallop fishing activity in the Marlborough Sounds is sustainable and allows the fishery to rebuild to healthy levels.

You can give us your feedback until 13 August 2019. 

Risk assessment

The strategy has been informed by an initial assessment of the risks to the Marlborough Sounds scallop fishery, should it be reopened, that was carried out by the SSWG.

The SSWG has been formed in partnership with iwi, and brings together tangata whenua, commercial and recreational sectors of the fishery, scientists, and fisheries managers to have input into the future management of the fishery.

The initial risk assessment [PDF, 1.1 MB]

What is the status of the fishery?

Following a decline in scallop biomass, the Minister of Fisheries closed all the Southern Scallop Fishery in 2017 (Marlborough Sounds/Golden Bay/Tasman Bay as well as Port Underwood) to the possession or taking of scallops until such time as the scallop populations recover.

Find out about the closure

Annual biomass surveys are carried out to estimate the abundance of scallops, and while there are signs of improvement in several parts of the Marlborough Sounds, numbers of scallops in Golden and Tasman Bays remain low. Results of a further survey will be published later this year. 

After we get your feedback about the draft strategy

Once we have your feedback we will be seeking the minister’s endorsement of the strategy and:

  • developing an integrated research and management plan to align with the objectives and risks identified in the strategy
  • seeking the minister’s and Cabinet’s approval to consult on any regulatory changes that arise from the strategy
  • designing a pathway and working with the community and recreational fishers on options to improve recreational catch data
  • identifying how to make rule changes in the fishery more responsive.

We will monitor the performance of any management changes that are made, and continually review them.

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

Once the Marlborough Sounds strategy is finalised, the SSWG will start to consider an approach to managing and restoring the Golden Bay and Tasman Bay scallop fisheries, which includes the Croisilles Harbour. These areas have not been considered as part of this strategy as their biomass remains negligible. The immediate priority was identified as the Marlborough Sounds.

Members of the Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG)

The Southern Scallop Working Group (SSWG) brings together iwi, commercial and recreational sectors of the fishery, scientist and fisheries managers. It provides an inclusive 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.

Who to contact

If you have any questions, email

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