Abalone Fishing

​​​​NOTE: Changes to abalone management will apply from 1 November 2019. See abalone review page.


A recreational abalone licence is required to fish for abalone.  You cannot take abalone on behalf of another licence holder.

Identifying Abalone Species

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Blacklip abalone have a corrugated surface of a red to brown colour with 6-7 open holes with raised edges.  Greenlip abalone have a smooth rounded surface, grey to green colour with 7-8 holes without raised edges.

Size Limits

The minimum size for abalone varies around Tasmania for both blacklip and greenlip. The maps below show the areas corresponding to the different size limits. Please note that recreational and commercial size limits may not be the same.

Blacklip Abalone Size Limits

The minimum legal sizes for blacklip abalone are:
  • 120 mm from Arthur River east to Musselroe Point; and
  • 138 mm for all other waters.  See maps below for exact boundaries.

Blacklip Size Limit Boundaries including North Eastern Detail


Greenlip Abalone Size Limits

The minimum legal sizes for greenlip abalone are:

  • 132 mm from Montagu east to just past Bridport; and
  • 145 mm for all other waters. See maps below for exact boundaries.

Greenlip Size Limit Boundaries including Perkins Bay Detail


Transiting between Size Limit Zones

Fishers cannot possess abalone below the legal minimum legal size for a particular area. For example,you cannot transit in waters south of Arthur River and Musselroe Point with blacklip abalone less than 138 mm. Similarly you can not transit waters west of Montagu and east of Bridport and generally south of those waters with greenlip abalone less than 145 mm.

Bag and Possession Limits

Fishers with a recreational abalone diving licence can have:
  • a personal bag limit of 10 abalone (combined species) per day.
  • a possession limit of up to 20 abalone.
Fishers without a recreational abalone licence:
  • can not take abalone;
  • can not possess abalone on state waters; and
  • Can possess up to 5 abalone without a receipt on land.  If you possess more than this, keep your receipt for purchases.

Measuring Abalone

  • Illustration showing how to measure abalone.Abalone are measured across the widest part of the shell.
  • You must carry a measuring device if you are fishing for abalone.
  • Measure the abalone before detaching it where possible as abalone that have been cut may die.
  • Undersize abalone must be replaced immediately
  • Before you shuck or shell abalone, they must be brought above the high water mark.
Get a free abalone measuring gauge at any Service Tasmania.

Area Restrictions

For information and maps about abalone reserves and research areas, see the Marine Reserves and Fishery Research Areas pages on this website.

Abalone Biosecurity Area

Northern Bass Strait Waters

You can take abalone within 50 metres of the shore of any island in Northern Bass Strait Waters but abalone cannot taken or possessed elsewhere in the area.  This restriction aims to limit the risks associated with the spread of Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG).

Recreationally caught abalone cannot be on board any vessels other than commercial trading vessels in the Northern Bass Strait Waters area unless with 50 metres of the shore of any land.

Bass Strait abalone biosecurity area  

Northern Bass Strait Waters

Public Health Alerts

There are occasional restrictions on eating abalone due to toxic algal blooms. Check for current Public Health Warnings.

Illustrations by Peter Gouldthorpe


Recreational Fishing Enquiries
Recreational Fisheries Section
1 Franklin Wharf
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
Email: fishing.enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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