Venus Clam Background


Venus clams were first discovered in Tasmania in 1963. Endemic to New Zealand, the range of Venus clams has extended to Tasmania likely by accidently being introduced. Based on allozyme analysis, Venus clams in Tasmania remain indistinguishable from New Zealand popualtions. The only commercial fishery for this species in Tasmania is at Georges Bay, St Helens, where it forms beds on intertidal sandbars and in deeper channels.

A commercial dive fishery has operated in Georges Bay, Tasmania since 1985. Between 1985 and until 2007 the fishery was managed principally through the allocation of half yearly or yearly permits. However, in 2007 a total allowable commercial catch (TACC) was introduced. The TACC split Georges Bay into two zones: the northern zone with two commercial licences and the southern zone with one commercial licence.