Project number: 1998-170
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $58,332.05
Principal Investigator: Ewan Colquhoun
Organisation: Macarthur Agribusiness
Project start/end date: 26 Aug 1998 - 18 Mar 1999


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1. Review current status of the wild abalone fishery in NSW, Vic, Tas, SA & WA with respect to: i. Health of the fishery in each state, in particular the status of the stocks and the level of risk in regard to maintaining current stock levels. ii. Management strategy for each fishery. iii. Economic viability of the industry and how it is structured. iv. The impact of poaching and how it is being addressed by the industry and management.
2. Review R&D, including: i. Type of R&D that has been undertaken in the different fisheries for the past 15 years (FRDC can provide this info with respect to FRDC projects) ii. The level of adoption of results and reasons for non-adoption iii. Identify the R&D that has resulted in the most benefit in terms of ecological sustainability and industry development iv. Document the expertise of the research providers, including, record of involvement, publications in the area and external funds gained etc.
3. Determine the R&D priorities for each fishery, and in particular focus on: i. Biology, stock assessment and modelling. ii. Reference points and/or sustainability indicators. iii. Environmental impacts both from the fishery and on the fishery. iv. Economic objectives. v. Fisheries compliance, including, poaching, stock and product identification efficiency of methods used. vi. Post harvest, including, marketing, processing. vii. Performance indicators for R&D.

Final report

ISBN: 0-646-37003-0
Author: Ewan Colquhoun
Final Report • 1999-02-28 • 7.46 MB


The Australian wild abalone industry contributes $200 million annually to the national economy and directly employs an estimated 1,650 people across 5 States (NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia). Over 99 percent of production is exported, primarily to north East Asia. It is a valuable native resource, increasingly so as world competitor fisheries decline from overfishing.

This Review has been commissioned by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to provide independent advice on the industry's current and strategic Research and Development directions, and the human, economic, technology and marketing infrastructure required to better manage the abalone resource. The Corporation intends to use the findings of the study as a base for making decisions in relation to the allocation of funds for abalone research and development over the next 3-5 years.   

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