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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.
Pipi, clam, vongole, sand cockle, ridged cockle
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.
Collection should be by hand only. Only take enough for your immediate needs.
The species is abundant on sheltered intertidal sandflats and in estuaries, with the shells also seen washed up on beaches.
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.
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.
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