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Greenlip Abalone (2018)

Haliotis laevigata

  • Stephen Mayfield (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Craig Mundy (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania)
  • Victorian Fisheries Authority (Victorian Fisheries Authority)
  • Lachlan Strain (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia)
  • Ben Stobart (South Australian Research and Development Institute)
  • Owen Burnell (South Australian Research and Development Institute)

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Summary

Of eight Greenlip Abalone stocks defined by management area, only that in the SA Central Zone is sustainable. Three are undefined – in the SA Southern Zone and Victoria’s Central and Western zones. Stocks are classified as depleting in the SA Western Zone and WA’s Area 2 and Area 3.

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Stock Status Overview

Stock status determination
Jurisdiction Stock Fisheries Stock status Indicators
Western Australia Western Australia Area 2 Fishery AMF Depleting Catch, CPUE, length-frequency data, fishery-independent surveys
Western Australia Western Australia Area 3 Fishery AMF Depleting Catch, CPUE, length-frequency data, fishery-independent surveys
AMF
Abalone Managed Fishery (WA)
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Stock Structure

Greenlip Abalone is distributed across southern mainland Australia and northern Tasmania. The biological stock structure of Greenlip Abalone has recently been examined [Mayfield et al. 2014, Miller et al. 2014]. Genetic evidence has confirmed that Greenlip Abalone comprise numerous independent biological stocks, but at a spatially broader scale than the biological stock structure evident for Blacklip Abalone [Mayfield et al. 2014, Miller et al. 2009, Miller et al. 2014]. There are many biological stocks across Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia. Given the large number of biological stocks, it is not practical to assess each separately.

Here, assessment of stock status is presented at the management unit level—Western Australia Area 2 Fishery, Western Australia Area 3 Fishery (Western Australia); Victoria Central Zone Fishery, Victoria Western Zone Fishery (Victoria); Tasmania Greenlip Abalone Fishery (Tasmania); South Australia Central Zone Fishery, South Australia Southern Zone Fishery and South Australia Western Zone Fishery (South Australia).

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Stock Status

Western Australia Area 2 Fishery

Catches in the Western Australia Area 2 and Area 3 Abalone Fisheries are controlled by a TACC, set annually in accordance with the harvest control rule defined in the Abalone Resource of Western Australia Harvest Strategy 2016–21 [Department of Fisheries 2017]. The harvest control rule uses a three-year moving average of standardised CPUE (SCPUE) as the key performance indicator (PI) against specified limit, threshold and target reference levels. The threshold is a level at which additional management action should be considered to prevent decline towards the limit. The fishery is defined as depleted if the PI is below the limit reference level, which is set at two-thirds of the lowest annual SCPUE observed (threshold level) in each management area during the specified reference period (1992–2006) of recruitment stability in the commercial fishery [Department of Fisheries 2017].

In the Western Australia Area 2 Fishery (WAA2F), the annual SCPUE for Greenlip Abalone oscillated between the target and threshold reference levels from 1995 to 2013. A declining trend in SCPUE has been observed since 2010–11, resulting in SCPUE being below the threshold for the last four years, but above the limit reference level. Sub-area analysis of raw catch rate, average meat weight per individual and length-frequency distributions from catch sampling are consistent with the recent decline in the SCPUE trend [Hart et al. 2013, Hart et al. 2017]. Fishery-independent surveys in the Cape Arid sub-area (which provides 32 per cent of WAA2F catch) show total and juvenile (40–80 mm) densities have been stable since 2008. There is evidence of a slight decline in recruit (≥ 145 mm) density post 2013 but not outside of historical ranges [Hart et al. 2017]. The fishery has a legal minimum length of 140 mm, which allows 2–5 years of spawning to occur before recruitment to the fishery. Above-average water temperatures since 2011 (extreme marine heatwave in the 2010–11 summer) are thought to have had negative effects on abalone growth or recruitment, but the degree of impact needs to be assessed further. The above evidence indicates that the biomass has declined, but the stock is not yet considered to be depleted. Furthermore, the above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing mortality is likely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired.

The harvest control rule and reference levels in the Western Australian abalone fisheries were recently reviewed and so the current Harvest Strategy [Department of Fisheries 2017] has only been in operation since the start of 2017. Under this Harvest Strategy, management action was implemented in the WAA2F to bring the TACC in line with the harvest control rule. Application of the harvest control rule resulted in the TACC being set at 60 per cent of long-term, target commercial sustainable harvest level. The reductions in quota under the Harvest Strategy have reduced the fishing mortality, and the effect of these will be monitored annually to determine if the reductions are enough to prevent the stock from becoming depleted.

Based on the evidence provided above, the Western Australia Area 2 Fishery management unit is classified as a depleting stock.

Western Australia Area 3 Fishery

Catches in the Western Australia Area 3 Fishery are managed by the same Harvest Strategy and TACC setting process as described above for the Western Australia Area 2 Abalone Fishery, as defined in the Abalone Resource of Western Australia Harvest Strategy 2016–21 [Department of Fisheries 2017]. The annual SCPUE for Greenlip Abalone in the WAA3F exhibited a declining trend from above the target reference level in 2000 to the threshold in 2005. A steady increase in annual SCPUE then occurred until 2010 but over the last seven years it has steadily declined to a point where, in 2017, it was below the limit reference level. The key Performance Indicator (PI) is the three-year running mean of annual SCPUE and in 2017, this PI was above the limit reference level. Sub-area analysis of raw catch rate, average meat weight per individual and length-frequency distributions from catch sampling, support the decline seen in the SCPUE trend [Hart et al. 2013, Hart et al. 2017].

Fishery-independent surveys in the Augusta sub-area (which provides 53 per cent of WAA3F catch) indicate that the total density of Greenlip Abalone has declined since 2014 and is at the lowest level since the survey's inception in 2004, while the densities of juvenile animals (40–80 mm shell length) over the last four years have been at low levels [Hart et al. 2017]. The fishery has a legal minimum length of 140 mm which allows 2–5 years of spawning to occur before recruitment to the fishery. The effect of above-average water temperatures on the abalone stocks since 2011 (extreme marine heatwave in the 2010–11 summer) may have reduced recruitment and/or growth and needs to be assessed further. The above evidence indicates that the biomass has declined, but the stock is not yet considered to be depleted. Furthermore, the above evidence indicates that the current level of fishing mortality is likely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired.

The harvest control rule and reference levels in the Western Australian abalone fisheries were recently reviewed and so the current Harvest Strategy [Department of Fisheries 2017] has only been in operation since the start of 2017. Under this Harvest Strategy, management action was implemented in the WAA3F to bring the TACC in line with the harvest control rule. Application of the harvest control rule resulted in the TACC being set at 70 per cent of long-term, target commercial sustainable harvest level. The reductions in quota under the Harvest Strategy have reduced the fishing mortality, and the effect of these will be monitored annually to determine if the reductions are enough to prevent the stock from becoming depleted.

Based on the evidence provided above, the Western Australia Area 3 Fishery management unit is classified as a depleting stock.

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Biology

Greenlip Abalone biology [Burnell et al. 2016, Haddon and Mundy 2016]

Biology
Species Longevity / Maximum Size Maturity (50 per cent)
Greenlip Abalone 20 years, 200 mm SL  3–5 years, 70-120 mm SL
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Distributions

Distribution of reported commercial catch of Greenlip Abalone

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Tables

Fishing methods
Western Australia
Commercial
Diving
Indigenous
Diving
Recreational
Diving
Management methods
Method Western Australia
Commercial
Limited entry
Size limit
Total allowable catch
Indigenous
Bag limits
Size limit
Recreational
Bag limits
Licence
Size limit
Active vessels
Western Australia
19 in AMF
AMF
Abalone Managed Fishery (WA)
Catch
Western Australia
Commercial 86.32t in AMF
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational 8 t
AMF
Abalone Managed Fishery (WA)

Victoria – Indigenous (Management Methods) In Victoria, regulations for managing recreational fishing may not apply to fishing activities by Indigenous people. Victorian traditional owners may have rights under the Commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993 to hunt, fish, gather and conduct other cultural activities for their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs, without the need to obtain a licence. Traditional Owners that have agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) may also be authorised to fish without the requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence. Outside of these arrangements, Indigenous Victorians can apply for permits under the Fisheries Act 1995 (Vic) that authorise customary fishing (for example, different catch and size limits or equipment).

Commonwealth Indigenous (Management Methods) Subject to the defence that applies under Section 211 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), and the exemption from a requirement to hold a recreational fishing licence, the non-commercial take by Indigenous fishers is covered by the same arrangements as that for recreational fishing.

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Catch Chart

Commercial catch of Greenlip Abalone - note confidential catch not shown.

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References

  1. Burnell O, Mayfield S, and Bailleul F 2018, Central Zone Greenlip Abalone (Haliotis laevigata) and Blacklip Abalone (H. rubra) Fishery in 2017, Fishery Assessment Report for Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, Fisheries and Aquaculture, SARDI Publication No. F2007/000611-9, SARDI Research Report Series No. 1003, South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide.
  2. Burnell O, Mayfield S, Ferguson G and Carroll J 2016, Central Zone Abalone (Haliotis laevigata and H. rubra) Fishery, Fishery Assessment Report for Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, Fisheries and Aquaculture, SARDI Publication No. F2007/000611-7, SARDI Research Report Series No. 927, South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide.
  3. Buxton CD, Cartwright I, Dichmont CM, Mayfield S and Plaganyi-Lloyd E 2015, Review of the harvest strategy and MCDA process for the Tasmanian Abalone Fishery. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
  4. Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources 2014, Victorian Wild Harvest Abalone Fishery Management Plan. State of Victoria, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Melbourne. 42 pp.
  5. Department of Fisheries 2017, Abalone resource of Western Australia harvest strategy 2016–2021. Fisheries Management Paper No. 283. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, Perth. 36pp.
  6. Ferguson G, Mayfield S and Hogg A 2018, Status of the Southern Zone Blacklip (Haliotis rubra) and Greenlip (H. laevigata) abalone fisheries in 2016/17, Report for Primary Industries and Regions South Australia Fisheries and Aquaculture, SARDI Publication No. F2014/000359-3. SARDI Research Report Series No. 985, South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide.
  7. Gorfine H, Thomson J, Spring D and Cleland M 2018, Modelling trends including effects of natural disturbance in an abalone dive fishery in Australia. Natural Resource Modelling, 31. DOI: 10.1111/nrm.12175
  8. Haddon M and Mundy C 2016, Testing abalone empirical harvest strategies, for setting TACs and associated LMLs, which include the use of novel spatially explicit performance measures. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart.
  9. Haddon M, Mayfield S, Helidoniotis F, Chick R and Mundy C 2014, Identification and evaluation of performance indicators for abalone fisheries, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation project 2007/020, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Hobart.
  10. Hart A, Strain L, Hesp A, Fisher E, Webster F, Brand-Gardner S and Walter S 2017, Marine Stewardship Council full assessment report Western Australian Abalone Managed Fishery. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, Perth. 288pp.
  11. Hart AM, Fabris F, Brown J and Caputi N 2013. Biology, history and assessment of Western Australian abalone fisheries. Fisheries Research Report No. 241. Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, Perth. 96pp.
  12. Mayfield, S, Miller, KJ and Mundy, CM 2014, Towards understanding Greenlip Abalone population structure, Final report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, project 2010/013, South Australia Research and Development Institute, Adelaide.
  13. Miller, KJ, Maynard, BT and Mundy, CN 2009, Genetic diversity and gene flow in collapsed and healthy abalone fisheries, Molecular Ecology, 18: 200–211.
  14. Miller, KJ, Mundy, CM and Mayfield, S 2014, Molecular genetics to inform spatial management in benthic invertebrate fisheries: a case study using the Australian Greenlip Abalone. Molecular Ecology, 23: 4958–4975.
  15. Mundy C and McAllister J 2018, Tasmanian Abalone Fishery assessment 2017. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies Report, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
  16. Prince J 2008, Analysis of Greenlip Abalone sampling from Minerva and Hospital Reef, Portland, 10–11 May, 2008, unpublished report to the Western Abalone Divers Association, 13 June 2008.
  17. Stewardson, C, Andrews, J, Ashby, C, Haddon, M, Hartmann, K, Hone, P, Horvat, P, Mayfield, S, Roelofs, A, Sainsbury, K, Saunders, T, Stewart, J, Stobutzki, I and Wise, B (eds) 2016, Status of Australian fish stocks reports 2016. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Canberra.
  18. Stobart B, Mayfield S and Heldt K, 2017, Western Zone Blacklip Abalone (Haliotis rubra) and Greenlip Abalone (H. laevigata) Fishery in 2016, Report for Primary Industries and Regions South Australia Fisheries and Aquaculture, SARDI Publication No. F2017/000331-1. SARDI Research Report Series No. 964, South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide.
  19. Stobart B, Mayfield S and Heldt K, 2018, Western Zone Greenlip Abalone (Haliotis laevigata) and Blacklip Abalone (H. rubra) Fishery in 2017, Report for Primary Industries and Regions South Australia Fisheries and Aquaculture, SARDI Publication No. F2017/000331-2. SARDI Research Report Series No. 994, South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide.
  20. Stobart B, Mayfield S and McGarvey R 2013, Maximum yield or minimum risk: Using biological data to optimize harvest strategies in a southern Australian molluscan fishery, Journal of Shellfish Research, 32(3): 899–909.
  21. Stobart, B and Mayfield, S 2016, Assessment of the Western Zone greenlip abalone (Haliotis laevigata) Fishery in 2015. Fishery Stock Assessment Report to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2015/000373-2. SARDI Research Report Series No. 920. 67pp.
  22. Victorian Government 2013, Victoria Government Gazette, 28 March 2013 www.gazette.vic.gov.au/gazette/Gazettes2013/GG2013G013.pdf

Downloadable reports

Click the links below to view reports from other years for this fish.