SA: Pipi (Goolwa Cockle) Season Opening

South Australia’s Pipi (Goolwa Cockle) season will open on 1 November after the previous season was closed early due to concerns over high E.coli levels in local Pipi stocks.

Executive Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Professor Mehdi Doroudi said that the SA Shellfish Quality Assurance Program has issued a Certificate of Analysis stating that E.coli levels are now safe.

“The decision follows tests on both sides of the Murray Mouth by the South Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (SASQAP) that found levels of E.coli are now considered safe for human consumption,” Professor Doroudi said.

“The origin of the E.coli was most likely due to the increased water levels in the River Murray flowing through to the mouth.

“The start of the 2011/12 commercial Pipi fishing season will also commence on 1 November 2011.

“The taking of Pipi is prohibited during the seasonal closure, which extends from 1 June to 31 October (inclusive) every year.

A recreational Pipi fishing closure applies on the Younghusband Peninsula (Coorong Beach), between the Murray mouth and 28 Mile Crossing.

The daily recreational bag limit east of the line of longitude 136 ºE (Cape Catastrophe) is a maximum of 300 Pipi per person per day. 

As of 1 November 2011 a reduced daily recreational bag limit has been set west of the line of longitude 136 ºE at a maximum of 100 Pipi per person per day.  This reduction came as a result of a public meeting initiated by recreational fishers in conjunction with PIRSA Fisheries after concerns were raised about the sustainability of Pipi stocks at Gunyah Beach due to significant increases in fishing effort in the area in recent times.

Professor Doroudi said that Pipis should be measured at the time of collection and any undersized should be returned to the water immediately. 

“We want to remind fishers that it is crucial to the sustainability of the species that they only take legal-sized Pipi so that recreational fishers can enjoy healthy Pipi stocks in the future.

“They should not be taken ashore before they have been measured for legal size.

“Fisheries Officers will continue to patrol known Pipi fishing beaches and where necessary take action against fishers who ignore the rules,” Professor Doroudi said.