- Certifier :
- q.inspecta GmbH
- Certified status :
- Certified since :
- 27 Apr 2017
- Certificate expires :
- 27 Oct 2022
Abalone divers operate from small vessels, using a 'hookah' (surface supplied breathing apparatus) or scuba equipment. The shellfish are prised from rocks using an 'iron'.
The greenlip/brownlip abalone fishery operates in shallow coastal waters off the south-west coasts of Western Australia. The brownlip abalone catch is taken in much smaller quantities than the greenlip. Commercial catches peaked at 270 tonnes in the first year of the fishery (1971) and were generally between 180 and 260 tonnes per year until the introduction of a total allowable catch (TAC) in 1990. Since then catches have been relatively stable at around 200 tonnes per year.
Catches of Roe's abalone peaked in 1997/98 at 119t, and have since ranged from around 67t (in 2012/13 after the marine heat wave) to 107t. Fishing effort has decreased by more than 50% since 1992.
30 vessels are used in the fishery. 12 are used to fish for Roe’s and greenlip/brownlip abalone, 10 used to fish for Roe’s abalone only and 8 used to fish for greenlip/brownlip only.
The abalone fishery is part of a program by the Western Australia Department of Fisheries where all the state's fisheries are given the opportunity to be assessed to the MSC standard.