Fishing pressure directed at gastropods and bivalve molluscs in Moreton Bay has increased significantly in recent years resulting in concern about the sustainability of key species (mud ark, mud whelks and cockles). A key issue is limited compliance with current in-possession limits (50 per person) with large organised groups of people targeting these species excessively.
Gastropods and bivalve mollusc species are highly susceptible to localised depletion because of their sedentary nature and the ease of access to fishing grounds adjacent to urban centres.
Fisheries Queensland anticipates that fishing pressure and demand for these fisheries resources will continue and management action is required to protect intertidal shellfish populations and support rebuilding of populations to sustainable levels.
Initial consultation with some local stakeholders, the Moreton Bay Working Group and the Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel has been undertaken.Fisheries Queensland is now seeking additional feedback through public consultation on the following management changes to the Fisheries Regulation 2008:
- prohibit the take of gastropods and bivalve mollusc, excluding pipis, in Moreton Bay;
- clarify the definition of mollusc to the following to assist compliance activities:
- Gastropod means any invertebrate species belonging to the taxonomic Class Gastropoda
- Bivalve Mollusc means any invertebrate species belonging to the taxonomic Class Bivalvia
- Pipi means any invertebrate species belonging to the taxonomic Family Donacidae: and
- clarify that shell collecting (i.e. empty shells, no live organisms) is not a regulated activity.
It is proposed that the closure will apply to the waters of Moreton Bay following the boundary coordinates of the northern, eastern and southern boundaries of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and all tidal waters of rivers flowing into this region and encompass the existing foreshore closures at Wynnum, Nudgee Beach, Bramble Bay and Deception Bay.
There will be no changes to the harvesting of gastropods and bivalve mollusc outside the Moreton Bay area (i.e. outside Moreton Bay a person is allowed to be in possession of 50).
An online survey is regarding the proposed management action is available at and will be open for comment until 6 January 2019.