The 2018 fishery independent scallop recruitment survey has been completed.
Three vessels sampled 333 sites between Yeppoon and Double Island Point over 29 nights. The survey was spread out over 18 different areas including the scallop replenishment areas (SRAs). The survey was conducted prior to the end of the winter closed season—when fishers aren’t allowed to take scallops. Marine national park zones were not sampled in this year’s survey.
The number of sites surveyed within a particular area were based on commercial catch and effort reported in the area. Sites were randomly selected (Figure 3) and sampling consisted of a one nautical mile tow, using common east coast commercial prawn trawl fishery net configurations. Prawn nets were used for the survey to sample very small scallops—pre-recruitment size, which can be as little as 15 mm—as well as large adult scallops. The survey also sampled Moreton Bay bugs and blue swimmer crabs.
Figure 1: Sub-sample of scallops to be measured
The vessels were contracted through a competitive tender process. In order to test the performance of each vessel, side-by-side trawls were completed to compare vessel catch rates. This testing showed vessels were catching similar numbers of scallops.
Figure 2: side-by-side trawling about to commence off Hervey Bay
Figure 3: Sorting tray of scallops caught during a single one nautical mile tow
View the 2018 Scallop Survey Results.
Initial observations indicate:
- juvenile scallops were present throughout the survey area
- some tows yielded in excess of 4000 scallops and were from both inside and outside of the SRAs
- staff encountered more scallops this year than they did during the 2017 survey, particularly in the Hervey Bay to Yeppoon sampled areas
- an updated stock assessment will be completed in early 2019.
Figure 4 Selected sites and survey strata for the 2018 scallop recruitment survey