Friday, March 25, 2011

Protect Pips, Biologist Pleas

Marine Biologist Heather Haek with Parks Vic.  Manager Jonathan Steveson At Venus BayThere is a great article about protecting our beach and its pipis in this weeks Leongatha Star (22/3/2011). It contains a very real warning, by visiting American marine biologist Heather Hawk, that our once large population of pipis on the beach at Venus Bay could already be facing an impending crash in population through over harvesting.

“Little is known about the impact of harvesting in Victoria … so monitoring pipi population structure and harvests is critical for these beaches(Venus Bay), which serve as recruitment sources for all of southern Australia”

“Fisheries in Sydney and elsewhere have learned that the species is highly susceptible to local population crashes after overfishing”.  …Heather Hawk

All this shouldn’t come as any surprise to Venus Bay locals and keen observers who have been making similar points for a few years now. If you haven’t already signed it,there is a petition by Venus Bay Residents to the Victorian government asking

To the Legislative Assembly of Victoria

The Petition of Residents and Visitors of Venus Bay, South Gippsland, Victoria

draws to the attention of the House

to the unsustainable harvesting of pipis and the associated excessive strain put on existing beach carparks, roadways, toilet and waste facilities during the busy summer period.

The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Assembly of Victoria:

Enact laws or regulations affecting the inter-tidal zone between Arch Rock and Point Smythe to restrict the taking of pipis, with the current catch limits, to a season extending from May to September.

Taken in January, still digging at dusk

This is a very sound request in that it will hopefully stop the rampant harvesting of Pipis over summer, and give the Pipi stocks a better chance of developing to maturity.

If you can help out getting more signatures, download the form ( use icon above or click here) and get concerned friends, neighbors & colleagues to sign it. Please post completed petition to PO Box 234, Venus Bay, Vic 3956, by the 30th April to allow time for lodging with Parliament. Alternatively  look for the petition stand at the end of the Tour de Tarwin or Lower Tarwin Market Mondays.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Coastal Ecology and Management Workshop

A free weekend workshop for coastal volunteers, at the Surf Lifesaving Clubhouse at Sandy Point, April 9th. & 10th.
(Sandy Point is on Waratah Bay, approx 45 km from Inverloch & 25 km from Foster)
Feedback from previous workshops has been all positive - don't miss the opportunity to attend this year!
Includes the following topics (list not yet complete):
  • Southern Australia’s unique marine environment
  • Saltmarsh – its importance and management
  • Beach-nesting birds and waders
  • Coastal weeds - identification and control
  • Geology of the South Gippsland coast
  • Fox control to protect beach-nesting birds and small mammals
  • Volunteers monitoring seagrass in Corner Inlet
Registration is now invited from members of volunteer coastal community groups and others interested in coastal management. Places limited. Presenters list not yet finalised, but will include:
  • Assoc Professor Paul Boon, Victoria University
  • Prof. Neville Rosengren, LaTrobe University
  • Mark Rodrigue, Parks Victoria
  • Birds Australia
  • DSE staff
  • South Gippsland Environmental Education & Interpretation Education Officer

Presented by South Gippsland Environmental Education & Interpretation and
Enquiries: Coastcare facilitator Bruce Atkin: 51 839116; 0429 842142 or reply to this email To Register: email

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Biggest Moon, maybe. Highest Tides not yet

imageThere has been a lot of speculation and sensationalism on the net and news about the giant moon tonight. Ok it is as close to the earth as it gets and it is a full moon. BUT it is only fractionally closer and still a long long way away. If you can see the difference you may just be dreaming!

What about the giant tides, well we do get higher tides at around the full moon, but remember it is the combined affect of the sun and the moon not just the moon alone and that will be a little stronger in a few days (see tide chart above, compliments of willy weather). so look for extra high and low tides Wednesday and Thursday.

full moon just after sunset