There is no restriction on shell collecting from beaches provided that the shell does not contain the living organism, that is, it is not a live shellfish when taken. There are limits on the collection of live shellfish. Shells cannot be collected from reserved land - contact the
Parks and Wildlife Service
for more information.
The taking of limpets and elephant snails is prohibited as they are protected species under the
Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995
The following species have no seasons, size or possession limits and a licence is not required for their collection. However, a daily bag limit applies as follows:
|Species||Daily Bag Limit|
|Clams, cockles and pipis (species combined)||100|
|Wedge shells (type of small pipi)||200|
|Other shellfish (species combined)||20|
See the relevant sections for details about
The combined limit of 20 shellfish of other shellfish species has been set primarily to protect populations of shellfish, which are targeted for shell collections and making necklaces. There are some exemptions for Aborigines partaking in
aboriginal fishing activities.
It should be noted that recreational fishers must only use their hands to collect clams, cockles, pipis and wedge shells. Equipment such as rakes or spades are prohibited.
Safety of Shellfish for Eating
Fishers should also consider the water quality of the general area before taking and consuming shellfish. Do not take shellfish from areas near stormwater drains, marinas, slipways or waste-water outfalls or after heavy rain.
Do not consume shellfish from the Derwent or Tamar estuaries.
Tasmania is periodically affected by toxic algal blooms, so follow any
Public Health warnings. If in doubt about the water quality or the safety of bivalve shellfish for eating, contact the Tasmanian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (TSQAP) for more information or call the Public Health Hotiline on 1800 671 738.
For advice about the safety of scalefish and other seafood for eating, see the
Safety of Seafood for Eating page.
Illustrations by Peter Gouldthorpe