Commercial Abalone Fishing Biosecurity Measures

​​ Please be aware of certain recent detections of abalone viral ganglioneuiritis (AVG) on mainland Australia. 


New South Wales​​

  • AVG has been detected in abalone in tanks at four metropolitan Sydney premises.
  • Temporary movement restrictions are currently in place for all abalone into, out of and within NSW.
  • NSW DPI implemented the Biosecurity (Abalone viral ganglioneuritis) Control Order (No. 2) 2021 (PDF, 254.81 KB) on 15 May 2021 ordering 7-day movement restrictions on the transport of live abalone into, within and out of  NSW, and the transport or sale of live abalone for commercial purposes within NSW.
  • See further details of measures.

South Au​​​stralia

As a result of these detections in Vic and NSW, South Australia has introduced the following restrictions:
  • Restrictions on all interstate live (wild or farmed) and fresh abalone into South Australia from interstate.
    • Exemptions apply for stock consigned directly to fish processors or retail markets, including restaurants, from accredited abalone farms or from Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland which are regarded as being AVG free.
    • Exemptions also apply for stock consigned to fish processors from AVG affected jurisdictions.
  • Strict conditions apply for transporting, keeping and disposing of abalone and abalone waste by fish processors.
  • Members of the public are only permitted to bring preserved abalone in sealed packaging into South Australia from interstate (e.g. canned or cooked product).
  • No abalone sourced from interstate can enter an aquaculture farm or South Australian waters.
  • Abalone cannot be used for bait and berley in South Australian waters.
See further details of the SA restrictions.

DPIPWE will continue to monitor the situation for any developments or interactions with Tasmania.

These recent outbreaks of AVG, as well as the original outbreak around 2011 and its subsequent spread across western Victoria, have continue to highlight the importance of cleaning and hygiene in reducing the spread of aquatic diseases.

Subsequent risk assessments identified a number of activities in the wild capture and processing sector as requiring mitigation.​


The Department encourages ALL DIVERS to adopt the protocols below as a part of their daily routine when fishing.

Catch bags that have come into contact with abalone and other gear such as gloves.  Ab irons, knives and measuring devices should be soaked in a fish bin containing soapy freshwater for 30 minutes and then rinsed.

Wetsuits should be washed with a specialised wetsuit wash preparation and freshwater, but if they are not readily available a mild liquid soap or shampoo will do just as well (get into a warm shower and soap down in your wetsuit).

  ​Wild Harvest Protocol 1: Cleaning and Disinfection   (116Kb)

  Wild Harvest Advice 3: Dealing with Suspected Diseased Abalone   (126Kb)

  Fishing Sector Advice 2: Clean and Responsible Fishing Activities   (122Kb)

  Abalone Processor Advice 2: Dealing with Suspected Diseased Abalone   (126Kb)

  Commercial Abalone Wild Sector Harvest Code of Practice   (256Kb)