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Parts of southern scallop fishery closed

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/07/2016

Part of the southern scallop fishery has been closed for the coming season because of low scallop numbers.

The closed areas cover the top and north-west coast of the South Island.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says commercial and recreational fishing for scallops in all of the Marlborough Sounds and part of eastern Tasman Bay is prohibited until February 17.

The latest survey, in 2015, showed a continued and significant decline in the fishery, despite commercial catch reductions over the past three seasons, he said on Tuesday.

"These closures will rest the beds, allowing mature scallops to spawn uninterrupted and juvenile scallops to grow."

Mr Guy said there was no scientific consensus on the exact causes for the decline.

Unknown environmental factors may be having an impact.

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