Long weekend shellfish reminder

23 January 2019

Recreational fishers, including those who collect shellfish and abalone, are being reminded to freshen up on the intertidal fishing rules ahead of the January long weekend.

Victorian Fisheries Authority Acting State Manager Operations Chris Angwin said most people do the right thing and understand the ecological importance of protecting the intertidal zone around the shoreline of Port Phillip.

“The intertidal zone extends to a depth of two metres at all times of the day, regardless of tide, providing animals vulnerable to excessive collection with high levels of protection,” Mr Angwin said.

“The intertidal zone is a critical part of the aquatic food chain, which is why the harvest of shellfish including abalone is not permitted.

“The only animals that can be harvested from Port Phillip’s intertidal zone, which is the area of shoreline that covers and uncovers with the tide, are fish, marine worms, burrowing shrimp, squid, octopus and cuttlefish.

“Catch limits apply to these species so fishers are encouraged to check the Recreational Fishing Guide for details – www.vfa.vic.gov.au/fishingguide

“Animals that cannot be harvested from Port Phillip’s intertidal zone include crabs, snails, starfish, sea urchins and shellfish like abalone, limpets, periwinkles and mussels.

“These animals can be taken in Port Phillip waters deeper than two metres in accordance with strict catch limits, but not in waters less than that depth.”

Mr Angwin said Fisheries Officers would be out and about this long weekend as part of Operation Stetson, focusing on the intertidal zone.

“We will be patrolling Port Phillip in our rigid-hull inflatable boats, jet skis, marked cars and in uniform handing out educational material on the intertidal zone and helping people understand where they can and can’t take abalone.”

Anglers and the public are encouraged to report any suspicious or illegal fishing activity to 13FISH (133474), anytime.