Frequently Asked Questions:
Does over harvesting occur at Venus Bay?
Fisheries say 'No', but the general public who witness the harvesting say the opposite.
Is the current harvesting sustainable?
Fisheries say 'Yes', but a new ecological report by an experienced marine ecologist says this is not proven to be the case.
Does the Venus Bay community feel supported?
No. Many people feel they are not being heard. Fisheries & Parks staff, in spite of the best efforts by individual officers, are unable to supervise the the harvest due to inadequate staffing levels in both Fisheries & Parks Victoria.
Are Fisheries/DEDJTR assisting the community?
The community will tell you that they rarely see fisheries patrolling the beaches over peak holiday periods & only spasmodically
throughout the year. Fisheries believe they are assisting by patrolling beaches, education by signs, community reference groups, & public relations.
Is the Venus Bay community frustrated & angry?
Yes! They are frustrated, angry, unsupported & left in the hands of a Government department that does not offer adequate assistance because they claim the community is overreacting, racist & wrong.
Are complaints about over harvesting as racist as Fisheries make out?
No. People feel they have a genuine complaint, & are passionate about their environment & concerned for the safety of their community. The complaint is about the quantity that is being taken, not who is taking the pipis. The idea that Fisheries claims that all complaints are racist is a public relation attempt to allow the continuation of the current harvesting practices.
What would the Community of Venus Bay like to see?
The community would like a more balanced approach to take place. One that included improved management of harvesting at an ecologically sustainable & expectable level. Such as a closed season, size limit restrictions, sections of the beach closed off for rejuvenation of pipi stock, & a fair & respectful working relationship with Fisheries/DEDJTR.
What happens if pipis are over harvested?
Pipis are an essential food source to the survival of resident & migratory birds species & fish species such as rays & skates - they play a vital part in the ecological food chain. They filter the water bringing life to the beach; if pipi stocks are significantly depleted then a loss of biodiversity will follow. Cape Liptrap Coastal Park is a protected area that is supposed to be managed for biodiversity conservation.
Can pipis become extinct?
Yes. NSW is struggling to increase very low stock numbers & at some beaches the pipis are extinct. Pipis are not recovering in numbers at NSW beaches even after harvesting has stopped. The reasons for the loss of pipi numbers are not known.