The Port River Vongole (Mud Cockle) fishing zone closure has been extended for a further 12 months, until 30 June 2019.
The zone has been closed to all recreational and commercial activity since 2011 in response to continuing concerns about the sustainability of stocks.
Both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors have offered their support to continue the closure to enable stock regeneration.
Sean Sloan, Executive Director PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, said the closure was a necessary and important part of a broader management strategy to support the recovery of Vongole stocks in the Port River area.
“Several factors may have reduced stock levels, including a combination of natural mortality events, unfavourable environmental conditions and high catch levels,” Mr Sloan said.
“Vongole are slow growing animals that produce a small number of eggs, and as a result stocks will take time to recover.
“PIRSA is also conducting stock enhancement trials on Section Bank as part of a research project funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to help boost vongole numbers and assist stock recovery.”
Recreational fishers are still permitted to collect Vongole from Coffin Bay and bays along the West Coast, including Smoky Bay, Venus Bay and Streaky Bay.
Fishers are also reminded that PIRSA has implemented a ban on the removal of all bivalve organisms (oysters, mussels, cockles, razorfish) from the Port River until further notice, to prevent the spread of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS).