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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Specimen shells
Monday 4 November 2019

You cannot sell recreationally collected shells

​Shells are classified as fish under the Fish Resources Management Act as they were once part of a living organism. 

This means that recreationally collected shells cannot be sold, including as part of craft projects such and mobiles, jewellery and decorations.

There are commercial shell operators who are licensed to collect and sell shells.

Daily bag limits also apply when collecting shells from the beach, regardless of whether they contain a living organism. Trochus also have a minimum size limit of 65mm.

Special fishing rules apply in marine protected areas​ such as State marine parks and reserves. Some marine parks have activity and species restrictions along with ‘no take zones’, which means you can’t take fish, including shells, from certain area.

You can check the rules that apply for shells on the online rules website: rules.fish.wa.gov.au.

Any unspecified mollusc or invertebrate has a combined daily bag limit of 10, which means that you can only take up to 10 shells in total from any of these species in one day.

Coral and live rock are protected species so cannot be collected or sold.

As long as you comply with the rules, you are allowed to collect shells from the beach for your personal use and enjoyment. However, it is essential that you do the right thing and comply with the rules.

It is important that shells are left on the beach as they are used by species such as hermit crabs that do not grow their own shell. They also are part of the natural habitat and add to the aesthetics of an area.

If you see someone selling recreationally collected shells or taking more than the daily bag limit you can report it to FishWatch on 1800 815 507.

Last modified: 22/11/2019 9:34 AM

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