It is a major worry when a species that is a foundation block in the marine food chain is in trouble. That’s why we can’t afford to ignore the NSW pipi crisis. Pipis are molluscs found in the surf zone of beaches from southern Queensland southwards to Eyre Peninsula in SA. Their populations are crashing with unsustainable harvesting thought largely to blame. Of the 22 beaches with pipi harvesting in NSW, 16 have had their pipi populations wiped out completely. An unwitting casualty of the decline in pipi populations is the threatened Pied Oyster Catcher which relies on the pipi for food.
In response to the crisis the NSW Government enacted a restriction on commercial take of pipis in the Estuary General Fishery limiting licence holders to 40kg hand gathered. In Queensland and Victoria commercial pipi harvesting is prohibited. Recreational fishers and conservationists believe an urgent and complete ban on commercial harvesting of pipis is needed in NSW.
Please help by filling out the form below to send a letter to the Minister requesting an urgent ban on commercial harvesting of pipis.
*UPDATE* The Minister has announced a 6 month ban on commercial harvesting. Read more here.
Here is Cate’s letter to the Minister along with the reply.