Katelysia Cockle

Cockle katelysia
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit100


possession limit-


boat limit-

(clams, cockles and pipi species combined)

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

Pipi, clam, vongole, sand cockle, ridged cockle

Scientific name

Katelysia scalarina

Grows to

Up to


Identifying features

​This bivalve mollusc is almost oval with a series of concentric ridges. A cream external colour with fine brown zigzag lines sometimes present and a purple blotched interior.


The species is abundant on sheltered intertidal sandflats and in estuaries, with the shells also seen washed up on beaches.

Fishing information

Found predominately in sheltered, sandy bays on the east coast of Tasmania. Collected by finger raking with the tips of the fingers through intertidal sandflats. Used by some fishers as bait for catching species such as whiting and bream.

Public Health advice

Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the Department of Health and Human Services or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.​ Do not consume shellfish from the Tamar or Derwent estuaries.​


Cockles are improved by purging to get rid of the sand. Suspend them in aerated seawater in a cool place overnight. These cockles go well with garlic, white wine and parsley, such as with pasta. Also popular steamed, barbequed, in soups, paella and on pizzas. If fresh, can be eaten raw. Do not eat if the shells don’t open during cooking.

Recipe: Pasta with Tasmanian Baby Clams:

500g katelysia clams; 350g pasta (spaghetti works well); 2 tbsp olive oil; 30g butter; 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped; ½ chilli, finely chopped; 100ml dry white wine; lots of parsley, roughly chopped.

Purge the clams as described above and scrub them if necessary to remove algae or grit. Put the olive oil and butter in a large pan and saute the garlic and chilli briefly. Put the pasta into salted boiling water to cook. When the pasta is half cooked, add the clams to the garlic and chilli pan, and turn up to medium heat. Pour in the wine, cover and leave for 3-5 minutes until most of them have opened. Remove any clams that do not open. Drain the pasta when cooked and add to the pan. Toss the clam mixture through and add the chopped parsley.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

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Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au