Shellfish and Shell Collecting

Periwinkle illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Shell Collecting

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.

Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Protected Shellfish

The taking of limpets and elephant snails is prohibited as they are protected species under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995.

Other Shellfish

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:

SpeciesDaily Bag Limit
Clams, cockles and pipis (species combined)100
Wedge shells (type of small pipi)200
Pacific oysters​unlimited
Native oysters​50
Other shellfish (species combined)​20

See the relevant sections for details about abalone and scallop fishing.

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

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeFishers 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 Hotline 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


Recreational Fishing Enquiries
Recreational Fisheries Section
1 Franklin Wharf
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

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