Calls to stop return of pipi harvest

PIPI harvesting could resume in the Hunter next Friday despite a push to stop the practice indefinitely.

Port Stephens councillors supported a long-term hold on pipi harvesting earlier this year until dwindling populations recovered.

But a NSW Department of Primary Industries spokesman said no extension had been added to the moratorium, which is due to end on Thursday.

That could mean commercial harvesting could recommence next Friday, the spokesman said.

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Fingal Bay fishing identity John "Stinker" Clarke urged the state government to give pipi stocks more time to regenerate.

He said that while numbers were showing improvement most pipis remained undersize for commercial harvest.

"The pipis are definitely showing the signs of recovery, which is exactly what we wanted to see, however the numbers don't suggest they're ready to be harvested," Mr Clarke said.

Port Stephens councillor John Nell said he believed an independent study of pipi populations was an important step to reinstating harvests.

"That's what the council asked for, because it is a public resource," Cr Nell said.

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