Abalone Fishery

​​​​Current Season Total Allowable Catch

2022 TAC (kgs)*2022 TAC kgs/unit*​​​
​Bass Strait Blacklip
Eastern Blacklip​​
​Northern Blacklip
​Western Blacklip
*2022 season Abalone TAC will come into effect from 1 January 2022

2021 TAC (kgs)2021 TAC kgs/unit​​​
​Bass Strait Blacklip
Eastern Blacklip​
​Northern Blacklip
​Western Blacklip


The Tasmanian wild abalone industry is a major contributor to the Tasmanian economy. It is the largest wild abalone fishery in the world, providing around 25% of the annual harvest.

Commercial abalone fishing in Tasmania waters began in the later 1950s with annual catches in the order of 2,000 tons being landed by the mid-1960s. The fishery has predominantly focused on blacklip abalone, with greenlip abalone typically accounting for around 5% of the total wild harvest. 

In 2020/21, the gross value of production of the fishery was around $50 million from a total catch of approximately 1,000 tonnes. 

Managing the Fishery 

The abalone fishery is managed under the provisions of the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and the Fisheries (Abalone) Rules 2017​

The commercial fishery has limited entry via a cap on dive licences and is managed using a system of sizes, total allowable catch (TAC) and regional catch caps. Commercially, limited entry and legal minimum sizes are more long-term arrangements, while TAC and regional catch caps are the subjects of annual co-management meetings and settings developed through the Abalone Fishery Advisory Committee (AbFAC)​ process. 

Go to the Abalone Operational Information page for the Abalone fishing blocks map and the current year Abalone Operational Information. 

Total Allowable Catch and Catch Update

Each year the abalone Total Allowable Catch, known as the TAC, is set for the next quota year which aligns with the calendar year. 

An allowable catch needs to be set for each zone in the fishery, which together comprises the TAC. Each of the 3,500 quota units then provides access to the same amount of abalone in each zone, and the fishery as a whole. 

The yearly TAC is divided by 3,500 to determine the amount each quota unit provides for the year. As the TAC changes, the quota units are amended each year correspondingly. 

Commercial abalone catch data are reported annually in the Abalone Fishery Assessment Report produced by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). IMAS does not routinely report on catch data within an existing quota year. ​

Abalone Closures 

Go to the Abalone Closures page for more information, including fishery closures, marine reserves, abalone research areas and biosecurity closure. 


Principal Fisheries Management Officer (Dive Fisheries)
Matt Bradshaw
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
Phone: 0457 097 534
Email: matt.bradshaw@nre.tas.gov.au