CARM December 2017 Newsletter

The reactivated scallop survey in Queensland ocean waters was completed in October 2017. The last ten-year scallop survey conducted 11 years ago. The assessment in 2016 showed that scallop abundance were at a historic low level and confirmed that reactivating the survey was necessary and crucial to provide details of the scallop population characteristics such as density and size frequency. These observations will help investigate the decrease in scallop abundance and improve future stock assessments. With anticipation and anxiety I participated in the survey last month. I experienced many “firsts” on this trip such as measuring a number of scallops; living at sea on a fishing trawler (with unavoidable seasickness); sea fishing (thanks Mark McLennan of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) for teaching me how to start fishing); sleeping on unsmooth and bumpy “wavelets”; releasing captured sea snakes back to sea. Measuring and recording the size of scallops, two species of bugs (i.e., mud and Moreton Bay bugs) and blue swimmer crabs is an uneasy task at sea! However, I enjoyed the trip in spite of seasickness. I would like to thank Mark McLennan, as well as Terry, Wynn and Storm, the skipper and crews, for taking care of me and introducing “mint candy” to me. More importantly, I would also like to thank Tony Courtney and Matthew Campbell of DAF for putting a lot of effort into the preparation of this year’s survey. Tony Courtney carefully designed the survey and checked every element before the start, to ensure that it ran smoothly and safely. – Wen-Hsi Yang