Venus Bay, Victoria, Australia is one of the few beaches in Victoria that supports a population of small clams known as pipis (Donax (Plebidonax) deltoides), which are important to the food chain & eco system. Venus Bay is a small coastal community with limited infrastructure & each year is swamped by thousands of day trippers to harvest pipis.
Venus Bay's famous Pipi's
What are Pipis:
Pipis (Donax (Plebidonax) deltoides & known as the Goolwa cockle in South Australia) are a small
bivalve clam found burrowed in the sand of high energy intertidal surf zone of beaches, filter feeding on microscopic phytoplankton matter from the water. They require heavy surf zones to provide oxygen to the water to survive. Pipis can die off if the waters are too calm over long periods.
Pipis are fast breeders, taking about 10 months to a year to mature – maturity size is around 37mm.
50% of the 37mm pipis are sexually mature & are able to breed – proof that size & maturity does matter!
Current Venus Bay Fishing limits & regulations:
- In shell – 2 litres per person
- Without shell – 1/2 litre per person
- There is no limit of clam size – all can be harvested
- There is capped limit of a total catch i.e. 10 people can legally take 20 litres while 20 people can take 40 litres etc.
- There is no seasonal restriction, harvesting can occur throughout the year
- You will not need a licence to fish if you are:
- under 18 years of age
- 70 years of age or over
Do I Need a Licence?
Yes, unless eligible for exemption. A Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) covers, all forms of recreational fishing in all of Victoria’s marine, estuarine and inland waters. Unless you are exempt, a RFL is required when taking, or attempting to take, any species of fish by any method including line fishing, bait collection, gathering shellfish, yabby fishing, prawning and spear fishing.
How do I Obtain a Licence?
- 2-day Recreational Fishing Licence for $6
- 28-day RFL for $12
- Anglers can still buy the one-year RFL for $24.50
- Victorian anglers now have the option to buy a three-year RFL for $66. This presents a saving of $7.50 on the combined cost of purchasing three annual licences.
The easiest way to purchase an RFL is via the DEPI website.
The RFL is also available from many DEPI offices, and selected retail businesses throughout Victoria, including most retail fishing tackle stores.