WA’s Roe’s Abalone (Haliotisroei) Fishery is a dive and wade fishery, operating in shallow coastal waters along the State’s western and southern coasts.
Roe’s abalone are found in commercial quantities from the South Australian border to Shark Bay, although they are not uniformly distributed.
The commercial fishery’s harvest method is a single diver working off a ‘hookah’ (surface-
supplied breathing apparatus) using an abalone ‘iron’ to prise the shellfish off rocks. Abalone divers operate from boats generally less than 9m in length.
The commercial Roe’s abalone fishery is managed primarily through output controls in the form of TACCs set annually for each area and allocated to license holders as ITQs.
The commercial fishing season runs between 1 April to 31 March the following year. The legal minimum length for Roe’s abalone is 60mm shell length in most parts of the fishery. However, this increases to 70mm in Area 1 (WA/South Australia border to Point Culver) and Area 7 (Cape Bouvard to Moore River).
There are 26 vessels commercially fishing for Roe’s abalone around WA, collectively employing about 50 people. The dispersed nature of the Roe’s abalone fishery means small coastal towns from Kalbarri to Eucla receive income from the activity of divers.
Key Species Fished