Depleted scallop fisheries in upper North Island to close after drop in numbers


Depleted scallop fisheries in Northland, most of Coromandel and the Hauraki Gulf are to be closed to allow them time to recover.

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The scallop ban comes into effect on Friday. File photo Photo: 123rf

Fisheries Minister David Parker said results of a biomass survey in 2021 are alarming and strong measures are needed to restore the fisheries.

“Scientific surveys of scallop numbers in the Northland, Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel fisheries have confirmed iwi and community concerns that scallop beds in the region are in bad shape. I share their concerns.”

Parker said many fishers in these areas have reported it is becoming harder to find scallops.

He said the decline is caused by a number of factors, including sedimentation, dredging and the use of GPS technology to locate and exploit scallop beds.

“Removing fishing pressure is an important and immediate measure that can contribute to their ongoing sustainability. It is the responsible action to take.”

The closure of the fisheries follows a 50 percent reduction in Coromandel in 2016 and a reduction in Northland of 74 percent in 2020.

The scallop ban comes into effect on Friday.

It will fully close commercial and recreational scallop fishing in the Northland fishery, Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel fishery, apart from two defined areas around Hauturu/Little Barrier Island and near the Colville Channel.

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