Gillian Upton, March 2015

John van Tiggelen (February) misses the point, and the evidence of his own eyes, in his article on pipi harvesting at Venus Bay. He writes about the small size of the pipis being taken (too small for reproduction) and the mere “half a litre” found by a group of four, among “hundreds of people churning up the tidal zone”. Yet he has been convinced by Fisheries Victoria that such constant, intensive harvesting, and the paltry dividends, indicates a sustainable fishery? Fisheries Victoria has not conducted pipi monitoring since 2011 and has ignored a community-employed marine ecologist’s finding that the pipi population at Venus Bay is “overfished”. And finally, inconceivably, Fisheries Victoria has issued licences to allow commercial pipi harvesting at Venus Bay.

It is easy to bogan-bash and fan a bit of racial polemic, but in the process van Tiggelen lost the real story.

Gillian Upton
Balaclava, VIC