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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
A small stack of healthy WA scallops
WA scallop stocks have recovered to commercial harvest levels following the 2010/11 marine heatwave
Monday 8 May 2017

Scallops bounce back after heatwave

Western Australian scallop stocks are recovering strongly after being devastated by the marine heatwave in 2010/11.

As a result, licensed commercial fishers are able to harvest 330 tonnes of scallops (meat weight) this year from the Shark Bay Scallop Managed Fishery – twice the quota from last season.

The scallop season for 2017 started on 1 March in Shark Bay. There will be a mid-season break (May to August) while spawning takes place, with fishing resuming after August.

As a result of the marine heatwave, the Shark Bay fishery, one of the State’s two major scallop fisheries, had to be closed for three years to preserve the remaining stock, before reopening in 2015 under a trial quota management system.

The scallop stock in Denham Sound, a key area of the Shark Bay fishery, has now fully recovered and can be fished sustainably. The stock in the northern part of Shark Bay is still recovering but steadily improving, allowing for a lower level of catch.

The second major WA scallop fishery, located in the Abrolhos Islands, will reopen this year after being closed for five years to assist stock recovery following the heatwave.​​​

Last modified: 8/05/2017 4:23 PM

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