Abalone Fishing

​​​​​​​NOTE: New abalone rules came into effect 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.
  • You must be 10 years or older to hold an abalone licence.

Identifying Abalone Species

undefined undefined

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

Regional bag and boat limits apply for abalone (see region maps).  Catch limits are a combined total for both species of abalone.

Daily bag limit

  • Eastern Region: 5 abalone
  • Western Region: 10 abalone

Possession limit

  • Statewide: 10 abalone

Boat limit

  • Eastern Region: 25 abalone
  • Western Region: no boat limit

Non-licensed possession limit

  • On land: 2 abalone
  • On state waters: 0 abalone
  • Child under 10: 0 abalone
If you have fish in excess of the possession limit, you must have a receipt for purchase.

  • If you are on Eastern Region waters with more than the daily bag limit you must prove you have fished for more than one day eg. an extended or overnight trip.
  • Fishers transiting from west to east must comply with Eastern Region bag limits before passing Whale Head or Point Sorell.
  • A child under 10 cannot possess abalone.  Any abalone held by a child are deemed to be in the possession of the supervising adult.
  • Highgrading your catch is not allowed, see Catch Limits Definitions​ page. 

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
Get a free abalone measuring gauge at any Service Tasmania.

Measuring Devices

An abalone measuring device must be either:

  • A Vernier calliper; or
  • A gauge, knife or abalone iron with prominent markings or extended prongs that inducates the minimum size limits for abalone.

Abalone Tools

Only the following tools can be used to take abalone:
  • A commercially manufactured knife with a blade not less than 18mm wide excluding that part of the blade that is within 50mm of the tip;
  • An abalone iron that is a broadly flat-bladed, chisel-like lever not less than 18mm in width.
This does not apply to Aborigines engaged in an Aboriginal activity.
Abalone iron

Abalone iron

Shucking and Eating Abalone

You can shuck (remove from shell) and eat one abalone per licence holder at sea. The shell must be retained and brought ashore.  This abalone is included in your daily bag limit. All other abalone must be brought ashore above the high water mark before shucking.

No Night Fishing

You cannot take abalone between sunset and sunrise.

Public Health Alerts

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


​For abalone fishing rules in Simplified Chinese, see the 捕捉鲍鱼​​ page. 

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

Back Home