Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has opted to make a small reduction in the allowable scallop catch for the top of the South Island.
The catch limits are those suggested in "option 3" of a consultation paper issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
The total allowable catch for scallops in the top of the South Island is to be 520 tonnes, down from 827 tonnes.
The total allowable commercial catch has been dropped from 747 tonnes to 400 tonnes, with 40 tonnes each to customary, recreational and "other sources of fishing-related mortality."
Mr Guy said he was aware the fishery was at a low level, with the commercial catch coming from only the Marlborough Sounds.
"I consider that a reduced commercial catch limit of 400 tonnes takes into account the future enhancement potential of the fishery, while balancing the sustainability risk and utilisation opportunity. This is the first step in stimulating a rebuild of abundance in the fishery."
Mr Guy said some submissions supported a larger reduction, one of the options included in the ministry discussion paper, but he did not consider that was required.
- The Marlborough Express
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