Clam


Latin names: K. rhytiphora, K. Peronei, Katelysia scalarina, Donax deltoides


Common names: Goolwa pipis, Goolwa cockles, eugarie, beach Pipi

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Wild Caught

Region:
NSW, SA

Key Facts

  • Pipis and vongoles are hand collected or raked in NSW and SA. Both collection methods are highly targeted (i.e. no bycatch).
  • The take of pipis and vongoles is well-managed, and the numbers taken are based on sound scientific information.
  • An overfished are in SA remains closed to allow that population of vongoles to rebuild.
  • The highly targeted collection method means other marine animals are not harmed.
  • Pipis and mongoles are important prey for birds, rays and fish; it is unclear whether overfished areas in SA have affected any marine wildlife.

Note: The Tasmanian fishery for vongole in Ansons Bay is currently closed following a collapse of the population due to overfishing and environmental factors (severe flooding in 2014 killed many vongole). A 2018 review of vongole numbers showed the population has not yet recovered. If the fishery re-opens, the fishery will be assessed for inclusion in this Guide.

More information

  • SA Lakes and Coorong Fishery, Marine Scalefish Fishery and South Australian Commercial Mud Cockle Fishery (539t of Pipis and 31t of Vongole in 2017)
  • NSW Estuary General Fishery (176t of Pipis in 2017)

Pips and vongoles fisheries hand collect or rake up these molluscs from the intertidal zone. Three species of vongole are collected, all of which are unique to Australia, as are pipis. Pipis grow fairly quickly and are resilient to fishing. Vongole species grow more slowly and can live to 29 years old, which means they can be more affected by excessive fishing pressure and take longer to recover.

Overfishing of pipis in NSW and vongoles in SA in the late 2000’s led to stricter harvest controls and allowed some populations to rebuild to healthy levels. One zone remains closed to fishing in SA as the population of vongoles has not recovered. The health of the pipi and vongole populations is well monitored in SA, and the amount of fishing that takes place is capped and regulated to protect pipi numbers. In NSW, pipi numbers are monitored annually to prevent overfishing.

Hand collecting and raking collection methods are effective at targeting only pipis and vongoles, resulting in a negligible extraction impact on any other marine or beach-dwelling species. As collection is so highly targeted, discarding of unwanted catch is not an issue, and undersized pips and vongoles can be returned without harm.

Pipis and vongoles are important prey for many birds, fish and rays; scientific studies show the level of current fishing is not affecting the availability of prey for birds. It is unclear if historical overfishing in current fishery closure areas has had any negative impact on other animals in these areas.

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Wild Caught

Region:
VIC

Key Facts

  • Pipis are hand collected in Discovery and Venus Bay in VIC. This collection method is highly targeted.
  • Relatively little is known about the health of the Pipi population in VIC.
  • New scientific research and fishing rules are currently being brought in which should improve the management of this fishery.
  • The highly targeted collection method means other marine animals are not harmed.
  • Pipis and mongoles are important prey for birds, rays and fish but current Pipi fishing levels do not appear to be affecting any of these species.

More information

  • VIC Ocean Fishery (34t in 2017)

Pipis are hand collected from the intertidal zone in Discovery and Venus Bay in VIC. Pipis are unique to Australia, grow fairly quickly and are resilient to fishing.

The VIC Government is currently bringing in new controls over the way in which fishing is conducted. The level of pipi harvesting has been poorly controlled until recently, and the health of the population is unknown. Although there are not serious sustainability concerns at present, these new management controls have yet to prove their effectiveness.

Hand collecting is effective at targeting only pipis, resulting in a negligible impact of extraction on any other marine or beach-dwelling species. As collection is so highly targeted, discarding of unwanted catch is not an issue, and undersized pips and vongoles can be returned without harm.

Pipis are important prey for many birds, fish and rays but scientific studies from other areas show the level of current fishing is not affecting the availability of prey for birds.