The Great Pipi Research Study
In December 2016, Dr John Morrongiello, from the University of Melbourne and his team started the much anticipated sustainability project: Assessing the
sustainability of Venus Bay’s recreational and commercial pipi harvest
This was a 3 year study of the Venus Bay pipi population and was funded by Recreational Fishing Licence Grants Program.
The study sampled a number of locations along 15km of the beach, from the top of Point Smythe to 8km south of Beach 1. At each location, they sampled the pipi population and measured the size of all individuals we catch. They also measured the beach profile using surveying equipment to quantify local habitat variation.
Using this data, in conjunction with tide, season and geographic information to model the drivers of pipi abundance on the beach. This information allows assessment of the relative importance of recreational and commercial harvesting and natural environmental variability on driving demographic patterns in the population.
While this study was complete nearly 2 years ago – it has taken some time going through official channels, but now it is available.
While issues relating to the sustainability of pipi harvesting are still ongoing, this study provides accurate data to inform future policy positions and provides a platform of scientific research for future advocacy
Copies of the report can be found on our website here