Wavy Periwinkle (2018)

Lunella undulata

  • John Keane (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Corey Green (Victorian Fisheries Authority)
  • Greg Ferguson (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Klaas Hartmann (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Rowan Chick (Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)

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The Wavy Periwinkle is a moderate-sized marine shellfish found in shallow temperate waters of southern Australia. Stock status is sustainable in TAS and SA and negligible in NSW and VIC.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
New South Wales New South Wales Negligible Catch history
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Stock Structure

The Wavy Periwinkle, Lunella undulata, is a moderately sized marine gastropod found on exposed sand-scoured reef and boulder habitat in shallow temperate waters (0–20 m) of southern Australia. They grow to a maximum length of around 65 mm and are distributed from Hopetoun, Western Australia to Coolangatta, Queensland, and around Tasmania [Edgar 2012]. Wavy Periwinkles form large aggregations in shallow coastal waters. The Wavy Periwinkle has a protracted spawning period from October to May, and may undergo incomplete spawning (retain unshed eggs until the next spawning event) [Keane et al. 2014, Underwood 1974]. They have short-term lecithotrophic larvae (planktonic larvae which live off the yolk supplied by the egg), and it is assumed that the larval duration is about five days, similar to other species within the taxon [Underwood 1974]. Stock structure is unknown, however a study into genetic diversity across southern Australia is underway.

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the jurisdictional level—New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

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Stock Status

New South Wales

The Wavy Periwinkle is a species within the broader number of species defined within the New South Wales Sea Urchin and Turban Shell (SUTS) Fishery. Prior to 2009–10 catches of species of Turban Shells (including Wavy Periwinkle) were aggregated into a group of species defined as ‘Turban Shell – other'. Since 2009–10 the annual reported commercial catch of Wavy Perwinkles has been less than 0.15 t. Stock status for the New South Wales stock is reported as Negligible due to historically low catches in this jurisdiction and the stock has not been subject to targeted fishing. Recreational and Indigenous catches of Wavy Periwinkles (or other Turban Shells) in New South Wales are unknown. Surveys of recreational and Indigenous catches have either not specified the species or species group [West et al. 2015] or reported them into a broader ‘shells - other’ category [Henry and Lyle 2003]. Fishing is unlikely to be having a negative impact on the stock.

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Wavy Periwinkle biology [Keane et al. 2014]

Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Wavy Periwinkle ~ 10 years, 65 mm TL 23–26 mm TL
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Distribution of reported commercial catch of Wavy Periwinkle
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Downloadable reports

Click the links below to view reports from other years for this fish.