Restricted Areas - Intertidal Zone
The intertidal zone is an important link in marine ecosystems. All organisms, both plant and animal, form part of the food chain. Removal of any invertebrate animals from this zone may seem harmless, but it represents a loss of food for other species, and is therefore restricted or prohibited in some areas.
For the purpose of fisheries regulations, the intertidal zone of marine and estuarine waters is defined as the strip of land from the high tide mark to where the water is at least 2 metres deep at any given time.
Intertidal zone at low tide.
Intertidal zone at high tide.
Intertidal Protected Areas
Victorian Waters (excluding Port Phillip Bay)
In all Victorian marine and estuarine waters (excluding Port Phillip Bay) you may only collect bivalve shellfish (such as pipis, mussels and oysters), squid, octopus and cuttlefish. All other molluscs (shellfish) such as abalone, snails, limpets and periwinkles are protected in the intertidal zone.
Other invertebrates such as crabs, rock lobster, shrimp and worms may be collected by approved intertidal collection methods only (see below). Catch limits apply.
Port Phillip Bay
From the intertidal zone within Port Phillip Bay you may only collect marine worms, Bass yabbies, squid, octopus and cuttlefish by approved methods only. All other invertebrates (animals without a backbone), are protected in the intertidal zone.
Intertidal zone regulations in Victoria.
Intertidal Collection Methods
The use of any type of digging implement is prohibited in the intertidal zone. You may use a fishing line, speargun or hand-held spear to catch fish, squid, cuttlefish and octopus.
Where collection in intertidal zone is permitted, the following methods are allowed:
- approved hand-held bait pump;
- hand or feet; and/or
- hand-held spear or speargun, hoop nets, bait traps or bait nets (specified waters apply, visit Permitted Use of Equipment & Using Equipment in Marine Waters).
Intertidal Zone Regulations Flyer
Translated copies of the Intertidal Zone Regulations Flyer are available in:
To obtain a hard copy of any flyer, please call the DPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
24-hour reporting line
Members of the public who see or suspect illegal fishing should call the 24-hour reporting line 13 FISH (13 3474).