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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
Victoria Victoria Central Zone Fishery VCZF Undefined Catch
Victoria Victoria Western Zone Fishery VWZF Undefined Catch
VCZF
Victorian Central Zone Fishery (VIC)
VWZF
Victorian Western Zone Fishery (VIC)
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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

Victoria Central Zone Fishery

Greenlip Abalone comprises a small (1 per cent) component of the total commercial abalone catch in the Victoria Central Zone Fishery management unit. The TACC has remained at 3.4 t since 2009 with catches typically below the TACC. While recent catches are lower than historical catch estimates (which were up to 100 t per year in the 1960s–70s), it is thought that some fishers choose not to take or trade their catch allocation, in part because fishing for Greenlip Abalone in the Victoria Central Zone Fishery management unit is less profitable than fishing for Blacklip Abalone which accounts for most of the total catch. The low current catch and very high LMLs of 145 mm and 150 mm west and east of Point Nepean, respectively, minimise the impact of fishing on the stock and ensure that a large proportion of abalone are protected from fishing for a number of years after they have attained maturity.

The low catches and resulting limited data on Greenlip Abalone in the mixed species Victoria Central Zone Fishery management unit makes CPUE unreliable for this species, and prevents direct (or by proxy) assessment of current stock size or fishing pressure. In addition, there is little information about recruitment, no survey data during the past decade and the Victorian Wild Harvest Abalone Fishery Management Plan [Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources 2014] does not identify a performance indicator or a reference point below which the fishery would be defined as being depleted. Consequently, there is insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.

Based on the evidence provided above, the Victoria Central Zone Fishery management unit is classified as an undefined stock.

Victoria Western Zone Fishery

Greenlip Abalone comprises a small (2 per cent) component of the total commercial abalone catch in the Victoria Western Zone Fishery management unit. The TACC is currently 1.4 t, reflecting a relatively lower level than in past years when Greenlip Abalone TACCs were increased to compensate for the reduction in Blacklip Abalone catches due to the occurrence of abalone viral ganglioneuritis (AVG) and in response to a population survey of Greenlip Abalone on Minerva and Hospital reefs [Prince 2008]. These catches were not sustained, and the TACC was set at zero from 2014 [Victorian Government 2013] until a TACC of 1.4 t was set in 2017. Previous concerns for stock status were based on low catches and declining catch rates [Stewardson et al. 2016]. However, (1) the decline in catch rates from 2008 to 2013 [Gorfine et al. 2018] reflected fishing on a resource that was essentially unfished and catch rate exceeded 40 kg per hour in 2013 when fishing ceased; and (2) the declines in catch are now considered to reflect a return to targeting the recovering Blacklip Abalone stocks and a shift away from targeting Greenlip Abalone because the low beach price and high cost of harvest made fishing for Greenlip Abalone unprofitable [Gorfine et al. 2018].

The current TACC supports the collection of some data on the fishery, but these data are insufficient to support a formal assessment. Fishing for Greenlip Abalone in the Victoria Western Zone Fishery management unit is less profitable than fishing for Blacklip Abalone, which accounts for most of the total catch, limiting the potential for increased catches of Greenlip Abalone under present circumstances. The low current catch and high LML of 135 mm minimise the impact of fishing on the stock and ensure that a large proportion of abalone are protected from fishing for a number of years after they have attained maturity.

The low catches and resulting limited data on Greenlip Abalone in the mixed species Victoria Western Zone Fishery management unit makes CPUE unreliable for this species and prevents direct (or by proxy) assessment of current stock size or fishing pressure. In addition, there is little information about recruitment, no survey data during the past decade and the Victorian Wild Harvest Abalone Fishery Management Plan [Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources 2014] does not identify a performance indicator or a reference point below which the fishery would be defined as depleted. Consequently, there is insufficient information available to confidently classify the status of this stock.

Based on the evidence provided above, the Victoria Western Zone Fishery management unit is classified as an undefined 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
Victoria
Commercial
Diving
Indigenous
Diving
Recreational
Diving
Management methods
Method Victoria
Charter
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Licence
Size limit
Spatial closures
Temporal closures
Commercial
Effort limits
Gear restrictions
Limited entry
Size limit
Spatial closures
Total allowable catch
Recreational
Bag limits
Gear restrictions
Licence
Size limit
Spatial closures
Temporal closures
Active vessels
Victoria
34 in VCZF, 23 in VEZF, 14 in VWZF
VCZF
Victorian Central Zone Fishery (VIC)
VEZF
Victorian Eastern Zone Fishery (VIC)
VWZF
Victorian Western Zone Fishery (VIC)
Catch
Victoria
Commercial 4.22t in VCZF, 952.58kg in VWZF
Indigenous Unknown
Recreational Unknown
VCZF
Victorian Central Zone Fishery (VIC)
VWZF
Victorian Western Zone Fishery (VIC)

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.