Pipi fishing to expand along Victorian coastline

The Victorian Government is set to expand pipi fishing zones along the state’s coastline.

THE Victorian Government is planning to expand commercial pipi fishing zones along most the state’s coastline, paving the way for growth in the industry according to an article on the ABC website.

Fishing lobby groups have been calling for changes to the fishing zones since 2013 when the area open to commercial harvesting was reduced to less than 4 km of beach near Portland in south-west Victoria and Venus Bay in South Gippsland. From next month, however, Victoria’s 2500 km of coastline will open to commercial fishing, excluding Venus Bay, National Parks and Port Phillip Bay.

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) chief executive Travis Dowling said the changes would promote more commercial operators in a fishery traditionally dominated by recreational fishers.

“Pipis have become a really valuable food source across Victoria and across Australia,” Mr Dowling said.

“It’s like what we’ve seen with calamari and squid and others that historically weren’t seen as a great ocean seafood.

“Now we’ve seen really the growth in a number of different fisheries and pipis is one where we’re getting a lot of interest from people wanting to eat pipis.

“Traditionally they’ve really been used for bait, so its a bit of a move forward and its a really good value-add for a Victorian seafood product.”

“We’re talking about 2,500 kilometres of Victorian coastline, now with nine commercial pipi fishers that will be out there harvesting,” Mr Dowling said.

“They’ve got a catch limit, so they can only take 150 kilos a day and there’s a cap on how many days a month they can fish — and that’s only eight days.”

The peak body representing commercial fishing interests in Victoria said the changes could mean the pipi industry could grow to be a multi-million-dollar industry.

To read the full story, click HERE.




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