Greenlip Abalone (2018)
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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.
Stock Status Overview
|Tasmania||Tasmania Greenlip Abalone Fishery||TGAF||Depleting||CPUE|
- Tasmanian Greenlip Abalone Fishery (TAS)
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).
Tasmania Greenlip Abalone Fishery
The Tasmanian abalone fishery has been quota managed with an annual TACC since 1985. Since 2000, separate TACCs for Greenlip Abalone and Blacklip Abalone have been implemented, with catch limits within the Greenlip Abalone TACC applied to four regions within the Greenlip Abalone zone. Size limits vary with a legal minimum length (LML) of 132 mm, 145 mm or 150 mm depending on growth rates, size at maturity and maximum size of populations in different regions. An annual fishery assessment is conducted using fishery-dependent CPUE data, and until 2014 the TACC was determined by an ad-hoc approach using trends in CPUE and industry perceptions on the state of the resource. In the 2012 and 2014 Status of Australian Fish Stocks editions, this fishery was classified as undefined due to the complexities of reporting and apportioning of effort to Greenlip Abalone, and hence understanding CPUE, in this mixed species fishery. The fishery-dependent data time series has since been reviewed and revised and a formal process for assigning effort in mixed species fishing events established [Mundy and McAllister 2018], enabling the development of separate CPUE indices for Greenlip and Blacklip Abalone.
In 2014–15, an empirical harvest strategy (HS) was developed [Mundy and McAllister 2018] and tested by Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) [Buxton et al. 2015, Haddon et al. 2014, Haddon and Mundy 2016]. This HS was applied in the 2017 annual fishery assessment [Mundy and McAllister 2018]. The HS assesses fishery performance against target reference points for three performance measures (PM) derived from standardised CPUE (SCPUE) data: 1) current CPUE relative to an agreed target (55th percentile of the annual standardised mean CPUE within the reference period); 2) the 4-year gradient of CPUE (target gradient is zero); and 3) the per cent change in SCPUE in the past year (target change is zero). The reference period for the 2017 assessment spans fishery data between 1992 and 2017. A scoring function is applied to the three PMs, resulting in a score between zero and 10, where five is the target score and zero and 10 are the zone-wide lowest and highest values for that PM within the reference period. Weightings are applied to the three PMs 0.65:0.25:0.1 to provide a combined final score used in the Control Rule. The HS is applied individually to each statistical reporting block, and a zone score is obtained from the mean block score weighted by block catch.
The zone target CPUE PM score is used as a proxy for biomass and the zone gradient CPUE PM score is used as a proxy for fishing mortality, F. A target CPUE score of one is the limit reference point (LRP) defining the boundary between recruitment overfished and transitional–depleting for all Tasmanian management units. This LRP is typically five per cent above the lowest SCPUE observed within the zone during the reference period. A negative zone gradient score gives evidence that fishing mortality is increasing and the magnitude of the gradient provides some information on the magnitude of F. The gradient four PM score ranges from negative five to positive five, where the target reference point is zero and defines the boundary between sustainable and depleting classifications, but also between the classifications of recovering and depleted. The combination of a negative CPUE gradient and near record low CPUE score represents a cautious proxy for the true depleted reference point. No reporting blocks have become depleted under this harvest strategy within the reference period, providing confidence that maintaining stocks above the LRP will prevent stock depletion, as predicted by MSE testing of the HS [Haddon and Mundy 2016].
The TACC for the Tasmania Greenlip Abalone Fishery has been stable at around 140 t since 2000, with only minor variation in the proportion of the TACC harvested annually from each of the four regions (King Island, North West, North East and Furneaux). Catch-weighted mean standardised CPUE (SCPUEcw) has declined slowly since 2010 [Mundy and McAllister 2018]. In 2017, the zone-wide SCPUEcw was 59.2 kg per hour and roughly unchanged from 2016. The regional SCPUE is close to the target SCPUE in two of the four regions; the Furneaux Group region is above the target and the King Island region is below the target but above the limit. The zone-wide proxy for abundance has declined from 4.2 in 2016 to 3.6 in 2017, although remains above the LRP. The above evidence indicates that biomass is unlikely to be depleted and that recruitment is unlikely to be impaired.
The current North West (excluding Perkins Bay) SCPUE has continued to decline and in 2017 was 48.4 kg per hour and well below the target SCPUE of 73 Kg/Hr. Catch rates in the North West Greenlip Abalone region have been declining rapidly since the 2012 level of 91 Kg/Hr. Mean SCPUE in the Perkins Bay area in 2017 was 75.5 Kg/Hr and below the target SCPUE of 89 Kg/Hr for that area. With an increasing beach price offered for larger Greenlip Abalone, selective fishing for larger animals in Perkins Bay is increasing, resulting in reduced catch rates due to greater handling and search time, potentially distorting SCPUE trends in this region. The King Island SCPUE has been declining for several years, although in 2016 SCPUE remained at 50 Kg/Hr. Changes from a winter to late-summer (when abalone show a lower weight/length relationship) fishing season in recent years, and increased selective fishing (for larger abalone), are thought to have had more influence on the SCPUE trend than changes in biomass [Mundy and McAllister, 2018]. However, until these factors are included in the CPUE standardisation, as a precautionary approach this stock is considered to be declining. The zone-wide proxy for F has improved from -1.2 to 0.5 but remains below the TRP for sustainability. The above evidence indicates that, for the period from 2010–17, the biomass declined and that the current level of fishing mortality is likely to cause the stock to become recruitment impaired.
On the basis of the evidence provided above, the Tasmania Greenlip Abalone Fishery management unit is classified as a depleting stock.
Greenlip Abalone biology [Burnell et al. 2016, Haddon and Mundy 2016]
|Species||Longevity / Maximum Size||Maturity (50 per cent)|
|Greenlip Abalone||20 years, 200 mm SL||3–5 years, 70-120 mm SL|
Distribution of reported commercial catch of Greenlip Abalone
|Total allowable catch|
|Commercial||141.28t in TGAF|
- Tasmanian Greenlip Abalone Fishery (TAS)
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.
Commercial catch of Greenlip Abalone - note confidential catch not shown.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- Miller, KJ, Maynard, BT and Mundy, CN 2009, Genetic diversity and gene flow in collapsed and healthy abalone fisheries, Molecular Ecology, 18: 200–211.
- 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.
- Mundy C and McAllister J 2018, Tasmanian Abalone Fishery assessment 2017. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies Report, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
- 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.
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- Victorian Government 2013, Victoria Government Gazette, 28 March 2013 www.gazette.vic.gov.au/gazette/Gazettes2013/GG2013G013.pdf