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Good News for Future for Golden Bay Scallops

29 June 2006

Good News for Future for Golden Bay Scallops

The results of the annual survey of the Southern Scallop fishery at the top of the South Island are in and while scallop numbers are down again on last year, there is good news about the future, particularly in Golden Bay.

The survey shows that Golden Bay has roughly the same number of harvest sized scallops in it as last year but there has been a 5-fold increase in the numbers of juvenile scallops which are expected to be ready for harvest next year and the year after.

The Marlborough Sounds still has very high numbers of scallops but a high proportion are under the legal size limit of 90mm or in areas where the meats of many have failed to reach prime market condition in recent years. Tasman Bay is disappointing; many of the fish that were left by the commercial scallop fleet for fishing this year have disappeared. There is a good bed of fishable scallops in Croisilles Harbour but very few elsewhere in the Bay.

“We haven’t seen similar numbers of juvenile scallops in Golden Bay since 2001. It’s great to see that the Golden Bay population is rebounding and we anticipate much better catches from there in 2007 and 2008,” said Russell Mincher, Chief Executive of the Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company which represents the commercial fishing interests in the fishery.

“As with last year, we are taking a very conservative approach to the harvest. Our prediction is that the commercial catch will be lower this year,” he said.

Challenger Scallop Enhancement Co is currently consulting with commercial fishing and other stakeholders about harvest arrangements for the season. Final decisions on how the commercial fishery will operate will be made in mid-July.

ENDS

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