Port Lincoln fisher asks for scallops clarification

SCALLOPS: John Fraser has asked for a clearer picture on the rules for measuring and counting scallops.
SCALLOPS: John Fraser has asked for a clearer picture on the rules for measuring and counting scallops.

A local recreational fisher is asking for clarification on rules for scallops after he was fined while diving near Coffin Bay in January.

John Fraser was diving for scallops near Brothers Island when he was approached by fisheries officers.

Mr Fraser said he was told to stop what he was doing and was informed he was supposed to count and measure on the sea floor, same as the law for abalone.

Mr Fraser was fined for having more than 20 over the legal bag limit and he was also issued a caution for undersized scallops.

He said unless divers had clear vision there was no safe or efficient way to count and sort scallops on the sea floor.

"Many have growth on them, barnacles and sponges...to measure it correctly on the sea floor you need to clean it on the sea floor," he said.

"They're expecting you to be down there way longer so it potentially exposes you to the bends and to predators."

Mr Fraser said he was left confused by fine as under the Fisheries Management Act 2007 a resource is considered taken unless immediately returned to the water unencumbered in any way.

"I still don't understand the law about measuring and counting on the sea floor," he said.

Primary Industries and Regions SA were unable to comment.