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.

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