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Commercial quotas to increase as future of Pipi looks bright

19 June 2015

South Australia’s commercial Pipi fishery continues to rebound and the commercial quota will be increased from 450 tonnes to 500 tonnes for the upcoming fishing season.

The Goolwa cockles recovery initiative demonstrated how South Australia is world-leading in fisheries management, underpinned by good science, achieving biological and economic benefits.

The SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI) has reported the Pipi biomass has increased by nearly 20% over the past year.

It is a great outcome for the industry and welcome news for consumers who are increasingly demanding greater quantities of this premium shellfish.

The Pipi sector has increased from a gross annual production value of $752,000 in the early 1990s to $3.6million in 2013-14. It is a crucial contributor to the State Government’s Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment strategy.”

The sector is part of the Lakes and Coorong Fishery and one of only two South

Australian fisheries to obtain the highly sought independent sustainability accreditation from the international Marine Stewardship Council.

Independent Chair of the Goolwa Pipi Harvesters’ Association Roger Edwards said the close co-operation between fishers, PIRSA fishery managers and SARDI scientists had ensured the future of the fishery.

“The harvest strategy has really helped speed the recovery of the Pipi. The strategy is unique in Australia because it combines biological and economic considerations. Its findings have resulted in fishers leaving more Pipis in the water for the same economic return.”

The State Governments support for the industry includes the ongoing use of a South Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program, which commenced in 2001 and ensures all Pipi harvested meet national food safety standards.

Only Pipi harvested from the waters classified and monitored by PIRSA’s shellfish quality assurance program can be sold for human consumption.

The increased stock levels not only give certainty to the commercial fishers, but it also ensures that our recreational fishers can continue to go out and enjoy collecting Pipis.

Image of Pro Fishermen