NSW DPI is reminding recreational fishers that collecting pipis for human consumption is not permitted in NSW.
Pipis may be taken for bait from NSW beaches but cannot be moved more than 50m from the high tide mark.
This long-standing arrangement is in place because pipis may contain toxins due to natural algal blooms, which are not always visible in the water.
Algal blooms can occur anywhere along the coast and are normally the result of the upwelling of nutrient rich deep ocean water onto the continental shelf.
These blooms can often be seen after rainfall events in estuaries and in river mouths.
Some of these algae produce harmful toxins that can build up in marine shellfish like pipis.
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These toxins are capable of making people very ill and cooking does not destroy them.
If you like eating pipis, buy them from your local seafood retailer.
In NSW, commercially harvested shellfish produced by oyster and mussel farmers and by commercial fishers collecting shellfish, such as pipis, must comply with a comprehensive food safety program.
The industry closely monitors algal levels, tests water and shellfish product and does not harvest when levels reach alert levels.
This program is controlled through the NSW Shellfish Program administered by the NSW Food Authority and assists commercial shellfish harvesters to control risks associated with harmful substances in shellfish.
It is recommended to only eat shellfish harvested under a recognised commercial program.
For more info, go to the NSW Food Authority website at www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au.
Pipis have a bag/possession limit of 50 in combination with cockles and mussels.
Report suspected illegal shellfish collection via the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or online at: https://fal.cn/3eSw2