The rapa whelk or veined whelk, is a large species of predatory snail with the shell reaching lengths of 18cm. The outside of the shell is usually grey to red/brown.
It is a versatile species capable of tolerating a wide range of temperatures, low salinities, polluted and oxygen-deficient waters. It can prey heavily on native shellfish and aquaculture species.
Rapa welk or veined welk / Rapana venosa
Similar native species
Cartrut shell / Dicathais orbita
Helmet shell / Semicassis pyrum
On the 1st July the NSW Government implemented a new Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act). Under Schedule 2 of this Act the Rapa or Veined Welk is declared as prohibited matter in NSW. This means it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or move this pest in NSW. Heavy penalties apply for non-compliance. In addition, NSW DPI has the power to seize and require the destruction of the pest.
People are expected to have a basic level of knowledge about the biosecurity risks they might encounter in their normal work and recreational activities. All community members have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions, or in some cases lack of action could have a negative impact on another person, business enterprise, animal or the environment. We must then take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise the potential impact.
Learn to recognise, and be aware of, the rapa/veined whelk so that you can report any suspected sighting immediately.