Abalone FishingIdentifying Abalone Species
Bag and Possession Limits
Public Health Restrictions
Information about Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG)
Contact for More Information
If you are fishing for abalone, make sure that you are familiar with the rules that apply:
- a recreational abalone licence is required;
- size limits apply and vary by species and area;
- bag and possession limits apply;
- fishing is restricted in some areas; and
- abalone can be taken all year round.
The minimum size for abalone varies around Tasmania for both blacklip and greenlip. The maps below show the areas corresponding to the different size limits. Please note that the minimum size limit for blacklip abalone taken in all parts of Tasmania other than the north coast was increased to 138mm on 1 November 2006. The minimum size limit for greenlip abalone taken in the Perkins Bay area was reduced to 132mm on 1 November 2006.
Corrugated surface of a red to brown colour
with 6-7 open holes having raised edges.
Smooth rounded surface, grey to green colour
with 7-8 holes without raised edges.
|Blacklip Size Limit Boundaries||Detail of North Eastern Boundary|
The minimum legal sizes for blacklip abalone are:
- 127 mm for abalone taken from northern waters; and
- 138 mm for abalone taken from southern waters
|The boundary between northern and southern waters is at: |
- the mouth of the Arthur River on the West Coast; and
- at Musselroe Point on the East Coast.
|Greenlip Size Limit Boundaries|
|Detail of Perkins Bay Area Boundaries|
|The minimum legal sizes for greenlip abalone are: |
- 132 mm for abalone taken from the North Coast between Perkins Bay to just past Bridport; and
- 145 mm for abalone taken from all other waters.
Abalone are measured across the widest part of the shell. You must carry a measuring device if you are fishing for abalone. Abalone must be measured as soon as they are detached from a rock and before they are landed to a boat or the shore to avoid damaging fish that can not be kept. This is a legal requirement that also ensures that undersized fish are in their best condition when replaced. If possible, size an abalone before you remove it from the rock.
Detached abalone are very vulnerable and should be replaced on the rock as you found them and not left upside down or on a sandy bottom. Abalone that have been cut will bleed to death so care in handling is needed.
Before you shuck or shell abalone, they must be brought ashore above the high-water-mark. Even better, take your whole catch home and dispose of fish waste with your household rubbish to prevent the spread of fish diseases.
Get your free abalone measuring gauge at any Service Tasmania!
If you have a Recreational Sea Fishing Licence (Abalone) then you can have:
If you do not have a licence, you may not take, but you can possess up to five abalone without a receipt while on land. If you possess more than this number you will need to keep receipts for purchases. If you don't have a abalone licence you can not possess abalone while on State waters.
- a personal bag limit of ten abalone per day.
- a possession limit of up to 20 abalone applies. This possession limit applies everywhere, including the home residence.
You cannot take abalone on behalf of another licence holder. You cannot sell recreationally caught abalone
There are restrictions on the taking of abalone in the following areas:
- Waterwitch Reef Research Area: no dive fishing.
- Kent Group Marine Nature Reserve: no fishing or setting of fishing gear in part of the reserve.
- Inner Sister Island Research Area: no dive fishing.
- Swan Island Research Area: no dive fishing.
- Bay or Fires Research Area: no abalone fishing in the research area.
- Elephant Rock Research Area: no dive fishing or use of rock lobster pots and rings.
- Governor Island Marine Nature Reserve: no fishing or setting of fishing gear.
- Maria Island Marine Nature Reserve: no fishing or setting of fishing gear in part of the reserve.
- North Bay Research Area: no dive fishing or use of rock lobster pots and rings.
- Taroona Waters (Crayfish Point): no swimming, diving, netting, potting or rings and no take or possession of abalone and rock lobster within the reserve. Also, no taking, fishing or possession of abalone and rock lobster whilst swimming or diving within 200 m of Taroona waters reserve.
- Tinderbox Marine Nature Reserve: no fishing or setting of fishing gear.
- Ninepin Point Marine Nature Reserve: no fishing or setting of fishing gear.
- George III Rock Research Area: no swimming, diving or anchoring.
- Port Davey/Bathurst Harbour Marine Nature Reserve: no fishing or setting of fishing gear in part of the reserve.
- Doughboys Research Area: no dive fishing.
- Macquarie Island Marine Nature Reserve: no fishing or setting of fishing gear.
- Marine Farming Lease Areas: no fishing without the permission of the leaseholder.
- No Possession Zones: No possession zones for abalone have been declared in the northern Bass Strait to lower the risk of spreading Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis to Tasmanian waters.
There are occasional restrictions on eating abalone from due to toxic algal blooms. Check for current Public Health Warnings.
For more information and maps, see the Reserves and Research Areas page on this website.
Contact: Recreational Fishing EnquiriesRecreational Fisheries Section
1 Franklin Wharf
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6233 7042 or 1300 720 647
Department switchboard:1300 368 550 (local call cost within Australia)
*To report any signs of AVG, phone the DPIPWE Disease Watch Hotline (24hrs) ph: 1800 675 888
Illustrations by Peter Gouldthorpe