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Annual Pipi Fishing Closure Nears

30 May 2013

AUSTRALIA - The annual closure for the taking of Pipi (Goolwa Cockles) comes into effect in South Australian waters this week.

The seasonal closure, starting at midnight on Friday 31 May, is one of the key management arrangements in place to ensure the sustainability of the Pipi fishery and reduce year-round fishing pressure.

PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Manager Central South, Randel Donovan, said while this year’s season was free of the E.coli issues that plagued the 2011-12 season, the increase in the number of fishers being fined for taking over their bag limit was disappointing.

“There has been a high abundance of Pipi this season which has seen a marked increase in the number of people fishing for Pipi on Goolwa Beach,” Mr Donovan said.

“Throughout the season, Fisheries Officers have been proactively patrolling the area and inspecting catches with local Fishcare Volunteers also conducting regular visits to help educate fishers about Pipi fishing rules and distribute measuring gauges.

“However, it was disappointing to find that not everyone follows the rules and that a total of 68 expiation notices were issued to fishers over the season.

“Fishing limits are in place to secure the long term sustainability of our fisheries by ensuring that enough stock remains to reproduce and restock the fishery.

“We urge all fishers to do the right thing and comply with the rules of the annual closure, which are in place as an important management tool to ensure the continued health of the fishery.”

Fishers have until midnight on 31 May to fish for Pipi. Fisheries Officers will monitor Pipi fishing areas over the coming months to ensure fishers are complying with the closed season, before it reopens on 1 November, 2013.

Suspicious or illegal fishing behaviour can be reported to the 24-hour FISHWATCH number on 1800 065 022. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.

TheFishSite News Desk

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