Restricted Areas - Intertidal Zone

Vic Fishing Rec Guide 2015

The intertidal zone is defined as the area starting on the beach at the maximum high water mark to a point where the water is two metres deep at any time.

All animals and plants that live in the intertidal zone are critical parts of the food chain. Removal of  any invertebrate animals (animals without a back bone such as crustaceans, molluscs, worms and sea urchins) from this zone may seem harmless, but it represents a loss of food for other species, and is therefore prohibited in Port Phillip Bay and restricted in all other Victorian Waters.

Intertidal zone at low tide
Intertidal zone at low tide.
Intertidal zone at high tide
Intertidal zone at high tide.

Intertidal Protected Areas

Victorian Waters (excluding Port Phillip Bay)

From the intertidal zone in other Victorian waters you may only collect bivalve shellfish (animals with 2 hinged shells such as pipis, scallops, mussels, oysters and squirters), squid, octopus and cuttlefish. Other invertebrates such as crabs, lobster, marine worms and burrowing shrimp can also be collected.

Only certain equipment is permitted to be used in the intertidal zone to collect these animals (see below).

All other molluscs (marine snails such as abalone, limpets, periwinkles and turbo shells) are protected and must not be collected. 

Catch limits apply. 

Port Phillip Bay

From the intertidal zone in Port Phillip Bay you may only collect marine worms, burrowing shrimp, squid, octopus and cuttlefish.

Only certain equipment is permitted to be used in the intertidal zone to collect these animals (see intertidal collection methods below). Catch limits apply to these species.

All other invertebrates (animals without backbones) are protected in the intertidal zone and must not be collected.

Intertidal zone regulations in Victoria.

Intertidal collection methods

Intertidal collection methods

The use of any type of digging implement is prohibited in the intertidal zone in all Victorian marine waters including Port Phillip Bay. Where collection in the intertidal zone is permitted, the following methods are allowed:

24-hour reporting line 

Members of the public who see or suspect illegal fishing should call the 24-hour reporting line 13 FISH (13 3474).