Commercial Pipi Fishery

For information on the Recreational Pipi Fishery, click here.

The Victorian Pipi Fishery

Pipi is the common name given to the small bivalve, Donax deltoides, which is found on high-energy sandy beaches in the intertidal zone.  Pipi have naturally large spatial and temporal variations in recruitment, settlement and distribution, influenced by environmental factors.  Pipi are found from the Eyre Peninsula to Kingston in South Australia, through Tasmania and Victoria, to Fraser Island in south-eastern Queensland.

Pipi have been harvested commercially in Victoria for many years, prompting the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) to consider dedicated management arrangements for this species.

The VFA spent two years preparing a Victorian Pipi Fishery Management Plan in consultation with a stakeholder-based Victorian Pipi Fishery Management Plan Steering Committee, and in accordance with Part 3 of the Fisheries Act 1995.

The Victorian Pipi Fishery Management Plan was declared in September 2018.

Following on from the declaration of the Victorian Pipi Fishery Management Plan, the Victorian Pipi Fishery was transitioned to an ongoing quota management regime, enacted through regulations in February 2020.

As specified in the Victorian Pipi Fishery Management Plan, an Independent Allocation Panel was appointed to provide independent advice to the Minister for Fishing and Boating on the commercial licence holders who were eligible for the allocation process, as well as the most appropriate method for allocating the pipi resource amongst these eligible licence holders.

The Independent Allocation Panel, guided by a Terms of Reference (PDF - 119.0 KB) , consulted extensively with stakeholders to produce a final report that was presented to the Minister for Fishing and Boating and the VFA on 14 October 2019.  Following on from the report and decisions made in relation to access and allocation in the Victorian Pipi Fishery, Pipi Fishery Access Licences and quota for the fishery were issued.

The new Victorian Pipi Fishery commenced on 1 April 2020. Pipi Fishery Access Licences have been issued for the Discovery Bay and Venus Bay commercial management zones. The Total Allowable Catch for the 2020/2021 season has been set at 10 tonne in Discovery Bay Western Zone, 40 tonne in Discovery Bay Eastern Zone and 2 tonne in the Venus Bay Commercial Zone.

There are a range of regulations relating to this fishery, including a size limit of 35mm, gear restrictions, labelling requirements, access and weighing points for fishing in Discovery Bay, and prior- and post-fishing reporting requirements.  All the details can be found in the Fisheries Regulations 2019.

More information

For further information on the Victorian Pipi Fishery, please contact:

Dr Sonia Talman
Principal Policy Analyst