Vongole Management

Management

The Tasmanian shellfish fishery is managed by NRE Tasmania under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995‚Äč and Fisheries (Shellfish) Rules 2017. The Shellfish Fishery Policy Document and Shellfish Policy Update 2017 detail the harvest strategy for Venus Clams in Tasmania. Estimated total biomass and size structure are used in the harvest strategy as performance indicators.

The current management strategy includes limited entry (three licences) and a legal minimum length of 32 mm. The total allowable commercial catch (TACC) is set at 10% of the most recent total biomass estimate. A survey of biomass is conducted by IMAS researchers every two to three years.

Comparison of results obtained from biomass surveys of Vongole beds at Ansons Bay coupled with commercial fishery data

Year Total area of fishery (m2) Population size ('000s) Density (no./m2) Biomass (tonnes) TACC (tonnes) Estimated catch (tonnes)
1997 185800 6671 35.9 75.8 9.36 ?
1998 185800 11890 64 98.7 9.36 ?
1999 9.36 ?
2000 185800 11261 60.6 148.6 9.36 ?
2001 185800 14811 79.7 202.25 9.36 9.72
2002 185800 10598 57 159.87 9.36 8.77
2003 9.36 8.31
2004 9.36 5.71
2005 9.36 4.18
2006 185500 9483 51.1 157.64 9.36 3.01
2007 15.76 2.3
2008 15.76 8.27
2009 149049 7783 52.2 127.07 12.71 8.47
2010 12.71 12.58
2011 12.71 11.94
2012 149049 7196 48.3 133.32 13.33 12.9
2013 13.33 9.17
2014 149049 1391 9.3 27.15 13.33 0.46
2015 0 0
2016 0 0
2017 149049 1442 10.6 30.73 0 0
2018 149049 1278 8.5 23.42 0 0

The recreational catch is considered negligible compared to the commercial catch. There is a combined recreational bag limit for clams, cockles and pipi species.

NRE Shellfish Fishery Webpage