The Abalone Fishery is one of Victoria’s most valuable commercial fisheries. Almost all of the catch is exported to international markets, predominately in Asia. Abalone are caught along the majority of the Victorian coastline and the fishery is primarily based on targeting blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra). Greenlip abalone are also targeted (Haliotis laevegata). The fishery is quota managed, with a total allowable commercial catch set annually based on the outcomes of a stock assessment process.
Current Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for the 2019/20 quota season
Eastern Zone – 345.5 tonnes blacklip
Central Zone – 262.5 tonnes blacklip, 3.4 tonnes greenlip
Western Zone – 73.2 tonnes blacklip, 1.4 tonnes greenlip
Abalone is a mollusc (shellfish). It lives on rocky reefs from the shore out into the sea to depths of 30 metres. Abalone is collected by divers who use a chisel-like, iron bar to prise it from the rocks. The divers can stay under water for long periods by using hookah gear (they breathe air supplied to them through an air-hose connected to an air compressor on their support vessel), therefore commercial divers prefer using this, rather than SCUBA gear.