In the Queensland, Australia, scallop fishery, the scallop catch is graded at sea using a specially designed grading machine called a “tumbler.” Experiments were conducted to determine the effect of repeated trawl capture, grading, and discarding on the survival of sublegal saucer scallops Amusium balloti. Scallops were caught within an area closed to commercial fishing and known to contain dense scallop beds. The trawled scallops were randomly divided into 2 groups, tumbled and control, and subjected to up to 4 tumbles and/or trawls before being caged for 2.5 days adjacent to the trawl grounds. Increased levels of both trawling and tumbling were found to decrease significantly the survival of sublegal scallops. Although 83% of scallops survived repeated intensive trawling (4 consecutive tows), survival fell to 64% when scallops were also graded using a commercial tumbler. Survival was high for both tumbled and control sublegal scallops after 1 trawl (97% and 98%, respectively).
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Vol. 29 • No. 2