Have your say...
If you would like to leave a comment, please use the contact page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments will be added to this page. Tell us what you have witnessed and your ideas on pipi harvesting at Venus Bay...
Luke - its too late
4 April 2021
The problem has been sorted. They have fished it out completely, there are no more Pippi's in the Venus Bay area. I used to see them come up out of the sand just before waves came into shore. It never happens now.
Ryan - Other Beaches Experiencing the Same Fate - Victoria's West Coast, 5 Jan 2016
Beaches on the West Coast are suffering the same fate. With large family groups taking huge numbers of pipi stock. The whole idea of only taking what you need is lost on them. Why the fisheries are never there is a mystery.
Graham - Loss of Amenity - Venus Bay, 17 Dec 2014
I'm surprised that you still have not added "loss of amenity" to your plan. its clear that the environmental damage argument is not working due to nothing happening for years! Fisheries just don't care! No one really cares about the pipis as they are not fluffy and they live in the sand out of sight! The way to go in my opinion is to include the council. The way to do this is to claim loss of amenity of the beach for the locals and tourists who want to use the beach after renting a house for Christmas and cant get near it due to hundreds of additional cars. The real estate prices and sales have definitely been affected by this as well. Find a politician who will back us as I'm sure the local opposition would love all of the votes from the Venus Bay area. Make the council aware that the locals and property owners who vote in the local elections are not happy with not being able to use a beach where they live in summer which is the reason for living in Venus or buying a holiday home in the first place. It could even be used as a reason for a class action claim against them for financial losses. They will take notice trust me if you keep on their case.
Hello Graham, I understand all that you say, and agree with everything...but we come back to it being Parks VIC land & not council land...so they wash there hands of their part of the responsibility of this. Part of what you are saying is added to the petition under lack of infrastructure. If you would like to start a class action for financial loss that would be fantastic! Kerrie.
Kerrie, what you are saying is correct but the council have to keep there rate payers happy as local governments are voted in not like parks Vic. If you argue loss of amenity of the beach to rate payers, fire escape routes blocked, life savers have great difficulty getting there vehicles onto and driving along the beach, unable to access the tip etc etc due to severe lack of local infrastructure, you have an argument that involves the council. Regards Graham Dunn
Graham - Council Survey - Venus Bay, 18 Dec 2014
To all residents and land owners of Venus Bay. This is how you fill out your survey if you want to involve the council as they should be. This is your chance to make a difference. Forget fisheries they are a toothless tiger who don’t give a shit! Thanks Graham
Kerrie, Venus Bay, 27 Nov 2013
I've been a holiday maker & resident of Venus Bay for over 40 years & have seen some dramatic changes in the eco system of the once pristine beaches.
Pipis are the last real abundant life we have left on our beaches. I remember a time were there was not a square inch of tidal sand that did not have pipis - now you have to walk klms to find them.
The plundering I have witnessed of pipis makes me wonder if Fisheries really cares about the environment it's supposed to manage. It is a disgrace & saddens me to my core that this behavior goes unchecked.
This year is heading to be the worst!
MIchelle, Venus Bay, 25 Dec 2013
The amount of people collecting pippis today is out of control. Access to the beaches is at a standstill . The rubbish being left everywhere is disgusting. Buckets and buckets of pippis are being carried off our beaches, and there was at least one refrigerated truck cruising around. Both fisheries and parking officers should have been present today.
30 Dec 2013
I just watched the videos you have posted on your site. I would like to commend the people who have taken them and had the insight to record them, as many of us could just look and shake our head in disbelief....surely aside from the impact of the over harvesting of our pipis, the limited or nil access availability for our emergency service vehicles should be ringing alarm bells, as well as the devastation of our dunes and beaches from the rubbish and from people using the dunes as a toilet.
Peter, Venus Bay, 28 Dec 2013
This is a letter that I never thought that I would have to write. It is about the annual arrival of visitors and their families at Venus Bay for the single purpose of harvesting of pipis.
Sonia and I have lived at Venus Bay for over 10 years and each year the annual invasion of thousands of pipi gatherers seems to increase exponentially. Objections to these visitors by members of this community have been dismissed as racist thus complicating the issue and with it, any potential solutions.
I do not know whether you have ventured out of your home on Christmas Day this year. The beaches were packed with people digging for pipis. No other beach activity attracts their attention. I drove past entries to Beach 3 and 4 and the roads were choked with cars, spilling onto Canterbury /Lees Road. There were cars parked on both sides of the road and NO STANDING signs were ignored. As a member of CERT I found this situation intolerable and irresponsible with dire consequences should an accident occur. Access by the CERT vehicle and ambulance was impossible.
Venus Bay roads were busy with frantic drivers in convoys, speeding and looking for beaches, getting lost, stopping in the middle of the road and executing dangerous U-Turns.
The beaches, car parks and any road leading to the 5 beaches are littered with rubbish. Sonia and I are fed up with having to take plastic bags with us to collect rubbish on our walks.
These are the issues:
- Venus Bay is fortunate or perhaps very unfortunate to have beaches where pips can be found. Some members of our community collect them for eating or for bait, but in comparatively small quantities.
- The visitors, who just happen to be oriental origin, collect pipis in unprecedented and mostly uncontrolled quantities. They bring with them large families and children and are thus able to collect large amounts. It would seem that they will continue collecting until this resource has been totally depleted.
- In the process of collecting they destroy this wonderful coast by their lack of respect for the environment by leaving rubbish, increasing congestion to an untenable level thus taking away the enjoyment from residents and visitors alike that this precious beach hamlet has to offer.
Sonia and I as well as many in the community, settled here because we value what Venus Bay has to offer. We enjoy the largely unspoilt environment, lack of traffic, almost unkempt streets that add to the charm of what is the essence of Venus Bay. I do accept that Venus Bay, like many holiday destinations face the pressure of a large number of visitors. But unlike other places, Venus Bay is being exploited by visitors with a single purpose and to an extent not seen in other holiday destinations.
We as well as many others, simply no longer go to the beach during this period. If we chose to brave the traffic, we find the beach battle scarred and ugly. Any member of the Venus Bay community who is unable to walk and relies on car for transport would be unable to find a parking spot. Anecdotal evidence is that potential visitors to Venus Bay who normally rent houses here are starting to look elsewhere. We are sick of the rubbish, crowded roads, car parks and beaches that have become inaccessible. All areas are full of rubbish and we are seriously considering selling out or at least moving out of Venus Bay for this intolerable period.
There are solutions and these do not rely on scientific studies into pipi numbers. There is sufficient anecdotal evidence that pipis have significantly reduced in size in recent time. We have wasted much time in conducting surveys and yet the problem we face is primarily a social one.
The only solution that will alleviate the angst that this annual invasion causes the Venus Bay residents as well as protecting the pipi population is to declare a total ban on collecting pips from 1st December to 31st March. This will enable pips to regenerate not only in numbers but in size. It will make Venus Bay far more habitable and relaxed because visitors may engage in a broader range of activities or simply not visit if collecting pipis is their only purpose. It may spread the visitor pressure on Venus Bay over a longer period of time. Catch limits as set by Fisheries would still apply and all aspects will be easier to police.
I believe that what I have expressed reflects the general feeling of many in our community. What we are experiencing is an annual frenzy of pipi collecting. Perhaps one starting point would be to organise a public community meeting, that is well advertised, attended by interested Councillors, but also including senior representatives of Parks Victoria and Fisheries. Solutions may follow from this but at the very least those who attend will be fully exposed to the community feeling in regard to this issue.
This is not just a pipi problem; it is a very serious social problem in Venus Bay.
I, as well as many others are looking forward to action.
Photos attached to this email were taken on 26th December 2013, which was much quieter compared with the frenzy on Christmas Day. Photographing rubbish is difficult due to the spread of items, but the half finished fruit platter wins the prize.
Only 2 days ago (29 January 2014), I spoke to a couple at Beach 1, who had collected less than 2 litres of pipis, but of which at least 90% were around 1cm in size. What one could do with pipis so small is incomprehensible as is the lack of understanding of the effects that removing ‘baby’ pipis has on the pipi population.
Parking at beach one - which has the largest car park of all Venus Bay beaches, spilled out down main road - photo: Michelle.
Beach one toilet, water usage & people waiting - our facilities can not cope with so many people - Photo: Michelle
Cars parked right up Beach 3 road - Photo: Michelle
Parking at beach one - which has the largest car park of all Venus Bay beaches, spilled out down main road - photo: Michelle.
Image by Peter
Image by Peter
Image by Peter
Image by Peter
15 Dec 2013:
A call was put through to 13 FISH with a report of over harvesting of Venus Bay pipis at Beach 5. Fisheries were in the area & responded.
Two men, one had a fishing licence, were found with 35 litres of pipis. They will be prosecuted.
This image is
just one of the
15 litre buckets
John, Venus Bay, 27 Dec 2013
As a owner of a holiday house in Venus Bay, I am extremely concerned with your December 25, 2013 video. The community should be concerned about the pipis taken during this period, but I am more concerned about theHealth and Safety aspects as seen in your video.
Venus Bay is not sufficiently designed by Council Planning to cater for this large influx of additional cars and people. We should support and allow people to enjoy our beautiful beaches, but the Health and Safety of these people needs now to be strongly investigated. I believe a seven year old boy was lost on beach one (feared drowned) during Christmas, and if the cars in your video were restricting the emergency vehicles / people in doing their job, then this needs to be escalated to the highest levels of local and state government for investigation.
I feel that if one was to survey the large build up of parked vehicles as seen in your video and the people on the beach, then one may find that the build up of people on our beaches is not for the purpose of enjoying a fun day on the beach but the sole purpose of collecting pipis.
Whatever the survey finds are, it is confirmed in your video that the Venus Bay beaches, parking, toilets and rubbish disposal cannot support the large number of people to this area. If the survey proves that the collection of pipis is the major reason for this over crowding (resulting in this major Health and safety issue) then the banning of pipis collection during December / January can have a strong bearing on resolving this major concern.
Robert, Venus Bay, 15 Jan 2014
We are part time residents in beautiful Venus Bay and have been for the past 8 years. We like so many other residents are very angry by what is happening to our beach haven and the total disregard of the law and disrespect shown by the people who come there to plunder the beaches of pippies. I along with my family members and friends will gladly join you in this campaign because we believe that something has to be done to stop what is happening in Venus Bay.
Pam, Venus Bay, 21 & 22 Feb 2015
On the weekend of 21 @ 22 Feb I saw two groups of pipi gatherers using equipment on beach 5. Each person in the group was equipped with a metal hand shovel, there were also large metal sieves being used and a very large shovel. They had a lot of small pipis in containers. I approached the largest group and and asked if they knew of the restrictions which were clearly stated on the notice in the car park. The group responded in English and were polite but evasive. I advised of the restrictions and the group merely moved along the beach a bit further and resumed gathering with their equipment. I was then approached by a local of Venus Bay who told me the same group had been advised by other people on the beach at least twice already but continued to ignore.
Rachel, Melbourne, 14 Jan 2015
As a visitor to Venus Bay, and reading the opinions and the information you have presented on your site I am frankly quite appalled at the disregard some fellow visitors have for the regulations on pipi picking and cleanliness of your beaches. I wanted to let Venus Bay residents know that there are some of us who stick to the 2 litre pipi catch limit, have a valid fishing license and do not use tools for this purpose. We do not approach pipi picking as a means to procure ingredients for dinner but as a recreational activity with family. We also take all our general waste and recyclables to the Venus Bay waste collection centre. We tell our children that we need to put the baby pipis back because they still need to grow and if we take them we endanger the species. I have seen the garbage that piled up near the playground on Jupiter Boulevard and I felt I could not take my child there to play. It was also an eyesore and the first thing that greets them on the way into your lovely main shopping strip. So I do hope visitors understand that their behavior in Venus Bay does not only affect the residents of Venus Bay, but prolong, protect and preserve our enjoyment of wonderful beaches, a great community feel and nature's resources. I understand that wherever we live, we will defend and fight for our home and community so I applaud your site and petition.
Rita, Venus Bay 11 Jan 2015
The last two weeks at VB indicates that the problem with the harvesting of Pippies and resultant chaos has reached a climax.
I have just read an article in The Great Southern Star about this issue and I was flabbergasted by the glossing over of the problem and with so many inaccuracies the Article contains; needless to say,nothing came of it. For brevity, I will attach a copy of it here for your perusal and if appropriate, to include in the Sentinel News.
"......There is some incorrect reporting throughout this article. As someone who has been a VB ratepayer for 25 years, this problem with pippies is not new. Fisheries & Wildlife, as well as the Gippsland Shire and the Inverloch Police were made aware of this issue at least 15 years ago but any concerns that people raised were put down to “racism”. There have been many incidents of non-verbal intimidation by the hoards who swarm on to the beaches.
Some home truths include:-
1. Many Pippi collectors sell their catch to restaurants along Victoria Street Richmond in the Melbourne CBD. In fact, if you walk along their particular street you will find fishmongers who proudly display “Venus Bay Pippies” in their shop window.
2. Beach signage simply states “2 litres in shells” or “1/2 litre non-shelled. It does not say anything about per day or per person/family. Regardless, this amount is ignored and on many occasions they will tell you that they are allowed “5 litres per person”. They arrive with DOZENS of commercial eskies and/or 20litre buckets, as well as tools, particularly knives. One woman was seen using a metal “scoop” and when confronted she angrily said “it’s a toy, not a tool”!
3. There is a website that Pippi collectors use to inform them of location, tides etc – all written in Vietnamese.
4. VERY RARELY has the Beach been patrolled by anyone. The rare occasions that it is, the Rangers do no more than give a verbal warning, which is ignored and when the Rangers leave they go back to what they were doing. Also, there have been many occasions where they had refrigerated trucks on the outskirts of Tarwin Lower, the dozens of people would collect the Pippies in VB, drive to Tarwin Lower to deposit the catch into the refrigerated trucks, go back to the beach and start again. The Shire was aware of this happening. Fisheries & Wildlife was aware of this happening. The Police were aware that it was happening. NOTHING WAS DONE!
5. Contrary to the DEPI Report, the pippi collection is NOT “sustainably managed” as there are very few tiny ones left and they even collect them, as witnessed by locals. Needless to say, no pippies means that there are no more fish in the waters. Instead of having so many snouts in the ratepayers trough coming up with a report that gives them what they want to know (as former PM Paul Keating once famously quoted, numbers can be manipulated. If you want to run a report/survey, ask the locals who live and see the problem each day. Equally, if one wants to write a newspaper report they would be better served to “tell it like it is” instead of glossing over a problem so that it complies with the politically correct “trend”.
6. Instead of a “catch limit” that everyone ignores, why should VB beaches not be part of the Tidal Zone where it is forbidden to remove shellfish from the beach? Why is this exclusive to Walkerville, Sandy Point, Waratah Bay and beyond?
7. With regard to rubbish being dumped, I, and many other locals, are fed up with picking up rubbish, including food containers, drink bottles, plastic bags, broken BBQs and babies disgusting dirty nappies, from the beach and access roads.
As this problem has been building over the years and has been all but ignored by responsible parties more concerned with political correctness than anything else, if ever a fire lit to cook Pippies causes a major wildfire, with only one way in and out of VB, loss of property and wildlife will be nothing compared with the possibility of loss of human life. In such a situation, the possibility of a class action against said responsible parties who have continuously downplayed this problem is also quite significant.
Yasmin, Venus Bay, 25 Dec 2013
A sad day for Venus Bay. No where to park. Limited access for Emergency vehicles. A 7 year old boy goes missing at Beach 4. Pipi's, well it's surprising that there are any left. I wonder if the day visitors that lost sight of their child, will eat their pipi's with appreciation. For the surf life savers I applaud you for your efforts in trying to manage the traffic at Beach 1 while dealing with the Emergency. Some of the day visitors had no respect in relation to being asked to move their cars, and in some instances were extremely rude to those life savers who may have to rescue them in the future. Today highlighted most significantly that harvesting in the summer time needs to cease. The cost to the Pipi population is insurmountable, the cost to tax payers for today's rescue also needs to be considered. In such a high risk fire prone zone, today would have been an absolute disaster, with many lives lost, if there had of been a fire. Something needs to be done and quickly.
Lynn, Eden Park, 25 Dec 2013
This is my 50th year as a holiday maker of Venus Bay & have never seen anything like Christmas Day. Gone are the days where you can enjoy the beach as a family, play beach cricket & swim safely. Access to the beach is just about impossible over the holiday period. For the sake of the environment & conservation something has to be done about it. Venus Bay does not have the facilities to cater for such an influx of harvesters.
Rodger's Family, Attwood, 25 Dec 2013
My family cannot believe the abuse of the beach today. It was horrific to witness all these people, I never thought it could get so bad. I could not even get to the beach in the afternoon to spend some quality time with my family on Christmas Day. Disgusting! This is appalling - how can this be allowed to happen.
Peter, Venus Bay, 25 Dec 2013
I've been a holiday maker & resident of Venus Bay for over 38 years & today was the worst I have seen, people & cars everywhere - there must have been at least 500 cars parked around Beach 5 entrance. It makes me very depressed to see the beach, surrounding bushland & pipis abused like this, how can this be allowed to go on. I couldn't even go to the beach for a surf or enjoy a swim with my family on Christmas Day.
Deborah, Venus Bay, 29 Dec 2013
We are absolutely outraged at the situation with regard to the pipi hunters and their impact on Venus Bay. I met a man at the beach today who also is on the second estate and he and I shared our mutual despair and were wondering what can done in the interim as people are now going to Inverloch and Walkerville to swim because the beaches are inaccessible. Are parking officers issuing tickets? I notice that people are parking on both sides of the each access roads despite the signs. I wonder how bad this will get.
William, 3 Jan 2014
I have been to Venus Bay before and got some pipis, that was really fun and relaxing. However, after I have watched the video on Christmas day, I have to say the petition is quite necessary... At least, the amount of fishing licenses should be limited or allowance per lisence should be even lower to ensure the sustainbility.
George, Venus Bay, 1 Jan 2014
I now permanent resident in Venus bay, lived in Boronia well over 30 years before deciding to retire down here for some nice peace and quiet without all this hassle we are now facing with the invasion of our beaches and pipis!!! I will try to make this short and sweet because it was very full on experience I went thru in Boronia when I (the instigator back then) launched a very severe and fierce campaign against the Knox City Council and the State Government for the lowering of Boronia worst intersection for over 50 years!
We must all remember the definition of the word Campaign is a good cause which us the community at large have a good damn reason behind it for doing it! As it is today invasion of our beaches and Pipis !!! It all stands for a good cause no matter how much, how often and who we may complain to? The end result is always the same all seems to land on DEAF EARS! I The secret is to attack just prior to Election times!!!! This is the only unique time that all politicians or councillors pay good attention!!
1) Form a committee with at least 6 or more persons!
2) Of course with the current petition
3) a member of that committee ready to run as an independent MP to get the support needed!
I am only suggesting doing what I did and been thru!! It was a long and very frustrating times but as long as the end result is Victory that’s what really matters!!! Unfortunately I cant take on another campaign been there before but I feel certain there must be someone out there in our community ready to launch such an attack after all it’s for a very good cause!! Our Beaches!!!! Our Pipis !!!! Our environment!!!!
Ian, 6 Jan 2014
Being A life member of the VENUS BAY SLSC and a permanent resident paying extremely high council rates, for the privilege of living on the coast. Fisheries Dept. state they cannot have a closed season, I do not believe this cannot be legislated as there closed seasons on many other spiecies of fish nationaly. I would like to see pippi harvesting closed between the last weekend in November to the end of easter, this would allow a safer environment and a more enjoyable atmosphere for those using the beach for recreational purposes and more conducive for the activities of our lifesavers.
There should also be a size limit, as at the moment the harvesters are taking pippies the size of a fingernail.
Something has to be done as soon as possible as the current situation is intolerable and could become a nasty situation.
As I said I am a local resident and a retired pensioner and all I want is what I pay for in rates, and that is a beach that I and my grandchildren can enjoy without dodging holes everywhere, and to be able to get to the beach with ease.
Winston, Tecoma, 7 Jan 2014
LOVE VENUS BAY
To whom it may concern, I am an Australian Citizen, and have been Visiting Venus Bay many times, with my wife, Son and my future daughter In law, who got engaged to my Son on the 30/12/13, at Agnes Falls. We came to stay at a rented house at 5 Beach. We went to the Beach and all we see is these Asians digging into the sand, there is got to be a law that they get checked to see if they have a licence to take Pippis, as well as only allow so much Pippis per family, i saw one car load with 6 people and all had buckets with Pippis,in them ....I keep saying to my kids, i feel sorry for their generation, when they grow up they are going to say my grandparents, never left much for us, i would love to help the fisheries and wildlife people by trying to do something good, even to check these people if they have an updated fishing licence, how are people to know if they are not flogging them on the market.
I just think as an Aussie and there should be more people standing up and saying enough is enough...Stop the Harvisting of these innocent creatures,leave them for the Birds thst survive on them.
Marlene, Mornington Peninsula, 24 Jan 2014
I have a holiday home at Venus Bay and the young girl doing my nails asked me what I had been doing over the holidays.I told her I had been holidaying at Venus Bay where I have my house. The first thing she said was oh Venus bay I go there all the time for Pipi's! I asked her if she was aware that the locals were angry about how many Pipi's were being taken, rubbish & parking she said yes but she said the news spread like wildfire amongst the Vietnamese community so everyone came and they loved the day out.
She had read the reports that said there was plenty of Pipi's and told me that collecting Pipi's was a family day out just the same as if we were picking cherries!
I 100% believe that so much more signage and education on the beach needs to happen IN VIETNAMESE the Dept of Environment & Primary Industries needs to get off their bum and train up VIETNAMESE speaking rangers to be on the beach from 9-5 7 days a week until the message is out there.
I spoke to locals about the problem last weekend and they assure me there will be fights soon which will need police involvement,what next??
It is lack of education for the Vietnamese they are on the whole lovely people who just need to clearly understand the rules of our beaches and surrounds this needs to go much further than it is now otherwise these angry locals will cause trouble if confronted. 1 bucket per vehicle seems more reasonable and yes it needs policing or a $5000 on the spot fine. I let my Golden Retriever off the lead after 6pm the other day and I had an "educational chat" from a ranger and I was told he he saw me again it would be $300 on the spot, I won't do it again!!
June, 29 Jan 2014
SUGGESTION TO SLOW DOWN HARVESTERS
I have a suggestion that maybe will slow down the harvesting of the Pippi's. This would also be fair to everyone, as President of our local Angling Club I have a great interest in keeping our pippis for all to harvest, for the right reasons, fisherpersons to use as bait and for those that like to eat them, as a Scuba diver we have regulations to follow when we take abalone,not only on certain days can we take, but we have a measuring devise to make sure that we only take the correct size if such a devise could be produced for the Pippi harvest as my attachment, this would save a lot of pippi's. As fishing persons only take to use as bait this would not be of great nuisance to them, they would be only to pleased to use such a devise.
Chien O - YouTube - Nov 2013
FRUSTRATION FROM PIPI HARVESTER
So many Aussie are such ignorant and hypocrite bunch of fuck tard...dpi already did research and show it is sustainable for recreational pipis collecting and people collecting at Venus Bay is for food not like you Aussies collect thousand of litters every year just to stock up in bait and tackle shop as bait...just because something you aussie don't like to do or eat, doesn't mean is ok for you to ruin the fun for others. Australia is still full of racist and hypocrite fuckers...
Maureena, 23 Feb 2015
My family and I have seen an enormous change in the pipi population over the forty years we have been spending summer at Venus.
Ten years ago I counted over five hundred people along the beach collecting pipis during a one hour's walk. I could have continued walking and counting. Multiply this several times daily, by 365 days, by ten years.
Legally each person can collect a certain weight or number of pippis, and I see small children carrying buckets as well as adults. After thousands of years of our aboriginal people collecting pipis as a food source there remained hundreds of thousands of large pipis which your toes could easily feel in the sands. Now what remains are tiny and certainly nothing like the communities which existed when we first came to beautiful Venus Bay. Its a disgrace.
Anna, Venus Bay, 25 Dec 2013
A picture says a thousand words:
Eden & family, Leongatha,
26 Dec 2013
First & last time to Venus Bay
This was the first time & the last time we will visit Venus Bay.
We decided to take a family day trip to Venus Bay, heading to Beach 1 for what we thought would be a lovely day out at the beach. What we saw shocked us!
We had never seen anything like this before!
Hundreds and hundreds of people marauding the beach for pipis!
I had no idea that pipi harvesting existed until this day. What a disgrace to witness & see.
How can this be allowed to continued. It will not be long before there will be no pipis left.
We won’t be going back again until this can be stopped.
Theo, Venus Bay, 28 Dec 2013
I live near number 5 and when I walk through the carpark and the beach I have a habit to pick up rubbish, but these days it seems like a lost cause, I usually have a massive bag full before I hit the beach in the high season and the rubbish seems endless. I think more antilitter signs in a few languages and asking people to take home their rubbish might help. Also identifying tissues and cigarette buts as rubbish might help as these are abundant. Also bait bags from people who fish. It is pretty obvious that the pipis must be under threat at the high season and I think making harvesting illegal at these times is a good solution, easier to police than quotas. I think if the harvests can be strongly reduced, the rubbish managed then I think the beach can be enjoyed by one and all.
Tony, Venus Bay 28 Dec 2013
Having attended meetings, spoken to the councillor, members of CRG and Fisheries over the past couple of years it is clearly evident to me that the lack of appropriate action is due to fear of racist implications. If the pipi hunting was being undertaken predominately by Caucasians I'm fairly confident something meaningfully would be done by now. Recently it has been all about the rights of the hunters to inundate the area and destroy the amenity, essentially ignoring rights of traditional beachgoers.We built in the area 8 years ago and now refuse to go in the weekends over the summer because frankly I get too angry and frustrated.
David, Venus Bay, 28 Dec 2013
thanks for the time you put in to stop these greedy environmental destroyers, who could not care less about the future enjoyment,of hundreds of people,just to satisfy their greedy eyes on a few dollars,regardless of their destruction on recreational fishing. This kind of activity should be seriously stamped out,for the future longevity of this healthy and enjoyable recreation.
Peter, Venus Bay, 25 Dec 2013
Here is a photo of one of two trenches dug on beach 5 over a week before Christmas. It was 60 metres long.
The other was the same and was dug by a group of 13 people wielding tools. It was over 50 metres long and 3 metres wide. Note the furrows!
Anonymous, Venus Bay, 4 Jan 2014
Incompetent, inadequate management of pipi harvesting at Venus Bay is leading to social tensions and ecological damage that will take years to recover, but Fisheries Victoria and Parks Victoria still fail to act. It's heartbreaking to see Venus Bay and it's people treated so badly. I've been a volunteer helping to look after Venus Bay's beaches for many years but I now withdraw my support in disgust.
18 Jan 2014
WHAT MONITORING ARE FISHERIES TALKING ABOUT? ... OPERATION HELIX...
Fisheries Victoria keep saying in the press they will continue to monitor the situation. What monitoring are they taking about? Fisheries aren't doing any monitoring of the pipi harvest apart from random compliance checks - Operation Helix is an example of knee jerk reaction aimed at public relations only - of couse they will achieve high compliance results from operation Helix as it has been widely promoted beforehand and conducted outside the peak harvesting period when most of the pipi have been removed from the beach.
Graham, 7 Jan 2014
LOSS OF AMENITY
I have been a land owner for the past 10 years and pay rates. I have not surfed or been to the beach at Venus bay for at least the last three years because you cannot get to the beach any more. I think that trying to get fisheries or other such bodies involved is a waste of time as it just simply hasn't yielded ant results. I propose we threaten to sue the council for loss of amenity of the beach which is the sole reason we all love the place. This could be done with a class action. We could also threaten to sue for losses of property prices. The council need to look after rate payers not day trippers who spend nothing in Venus bay.
BAN IT ALLTOGETHER
I also suggest we all pay for our bait and ban pipi harvesting from the beach all together with the only compromise being you could use them for bait on the beach but cant remove them. Any other arrangement is only open for abuse.
Michael and Roberta, Venus Bay, 7 Jan 2014
Our family has had a holiday house at Venus Bay for over 15 years and we too are outraged at the attitude of the governmental body regulating the collection of pipis. At one stage I sent them a copy of a poster my daughter found in the toilets at Melb Uni advertising a pipi collection fun day! I got a lukewarm response from the fisheries people.
Matt, Skye, 7 Jan 2014
ONCE A FAMILY HOLIDAY DESTINATION
This has been getting worse every year and finally its out of hand. We no longer expect any more from our greedy out of touch governments. I now go down to maintain our block, or maybe a couple of trips through the colder months. Our kids ask us why we don't holiday down at Venus Bay any more! It's very sad for us as a family. Haven't been at all this Christmas and summer and don't intend to. There are beaches closer and more assessable, than the carnage that is now Venus bay. Environmental disaster and an absolute tragedy for such a beautiful place. We intend to sell over the next twelve months. Shattered.
Pipi Trench - 60 meters long - Photo: Peter F
Pipi Harvesting Trench 60 mfrs long Photo: Peter F
Pipi Trench - 60 meters long - Photo: Peter F
Roberta & Mike, Venus Bay, 29 Jan 2014
THE RAPE OF OUR BEACHES!
It is disgusting in our society that we cannot protect the wildlife on national/coastal park beaches. This wildlife has a right to the same measure as any living natural species. Our government is turning it's back on this area! The marine life is complex and to allow the pillage of one species to such an extent will impact on the ecology of the whole area!Why does the digging up and open exploitation of the marine life have less value than the mammal life? The beaches are being dug up, habitat for bird and marine life impacted and the the land degraded by the wanton abuse of this national park beach area. What does it take for this issue to be addressed seriously. Huge families attack the beach each collecting for even the youngest member......who often cannot carry their catch. Pamphlets at universities advertise the pillage of our beach as a fun outing.......sign up for a day trip collect as many pippies as you can! Many a catch will end up on Victoria street ...commercially turned over. It may seem a small issue for some, but it is and will destroy the environment of this rare pristine area and turn many locals away if this is not resolved. The national/coastal parks and wildlife organisations must take on this issue ......the council must act on the concerns of those who voted them in. We all have a responsibility to speak up for our environment!
Our council is doing nothing to protect the rights of rate payers in this area, who have bought property to live in an area of natural beauty and where the environment is protected. We like many others are indeed disgusted that this issue has remained unresolved for too long!
Tom, 6 Jan 2014
RESPONSE TO YOUTUBE VIDEO X- MAS DAY
See how lakes entrance does. Build more hotel, a bigger car park, and open more cafe, shops, restaurants. Even on the Tourist information sheet, it says: Lots of crabs all year around. That's how a economy grows. Look at Venus Bay, nothing but a little small shops, no facilities, parking spot is small.People live in VB should open their mind to utilize this, not complain about.
Gudrun, Venus Bay, 2 Feb 2014
I used your submission with minor changes (to the Victorian National Parks Association - Marine Investigation into Victoria's Marine Protected Areas) as the basis for mine, seeing I don’t have any of the relevant details. I just sent it off and hope that Venus Bay will be considered as part of a Coastal Park. This would make a huge difference to everyone, especially the pipis!
I am the part-time local Venus Bay resident, who walked along the beaches from No. 1 to No. 4 on Christmas Day. Seeing there were virtually thousands of pipi collectors (I think ‘harvesters’ is a misnomer, as no-one has planted or tended them) and no Fisheries or Parks officers to be seen anywhere, I politely asked those, who were using tools, whether they realized that this was prohibited. I would have spoken to at least 50 groups and individuals. Most claimed not to know about the regulations but then complied nevertheless. It is the same story every year, as everyone seems to know that no officers are on duty on Christmas Day. Tools used were of great variety, some very creative. The further I walked away from Beach 1, the larger the number of people using digging tools.
I do understand that it is better to leave these issues to the “authorities”, and I certainly will if there is any chance of them being present! As long as they are not, I will try my trick, politely requesting them to take note, producing my mobile phone with the ‘Fisheries phone number’ and sadly telling them that I would much rather they adhere to regulations than me phoning Fisheries, which ‘could cost them a lot of money’. Of course I know perfectly well that no officers would attend.
Amongst my friends are several Vietnamese, Vietnamese/Chinese and Malaysian/Chinese; they tell me that everyone they know is aware of the pipis in Venus Bay. I shop and have haircuts in Richmond and Springvale. I have asked hairdressers and shopkeepers whether they know where Venus Bay is, and they will instantly talk about the wonderful beaches with the pipis. I do not blame them for enjoying the beach with their families. As I talked to the pipi collectors in Venus Bay, many were telling me that there weren’t many now. I have noticed this, too. There are areas where very small pipis are, but having walked the beaches since 1975, I do notice a huge difference.
I fail to see how Fisheries/Parks will ever have sufficient funds to keep the situation under control. A marine park would, of course, solve these problems, otherwise we need total ban on pipi collection for at least 3 to 4 years, to enable the pipis to recover. This would be much easier to monitor than the present situation.
On a more positive note, it is very noticeable that some families now come with boogie boards, flippers, sandcastle equipment for their children, wetsuits, etc.
Unfortunately, the recent ‘Open Day’ at the Surf Life Saving Club did not attract much interest, none at all from the pipi collectors.
I just thought I’d share my thoughts with you and to let you know that I sent off the submission.
More comments listed on the petition page at Communityrun.org: