Project number: 2018-109
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $4,800.00
Principal Investigator: Craig Fox
Organisation: Western Abalone Divers Association (WADA)
Project start/end date: 31 Aug 2019 - 31 Aug 2021


This project will provide for the first time, a platform for abalone divers to come together from different jurisdictions and exchange their wealth of knowledge, skills, and best practices with each other for the benefit of the Australian abalone industry. In addition to the objective of improving practices and building industry capacity and resilience, the project will also provide the opportunities for divers to network, build relationships, exchange ideas, and work toward other joint ventures.

While the Australian abalone industry is a highly collaborative fishing sector through industry peak bodies and associations, there is little-to-no interaction between divers across jurisdictions. Divers in the abalone industry historically do not necessarily have a voice or a mechanism to come together, to discuss and share their issues, their knowledge, operational skills and best practices. Yet divers are the custodians of the resource, are the eyes under the waters, and have extensive knowledge and expertise to share.

Given the current state of the industry and issues faced - for example strict quotas, descending TACCs, safety concerns, biosecurity concerns, increasing shark populations, environmental change, market fluctuations and opportunities, an aging industry - it is now critical for abalone divers to come together and exchange their knowledge for the benefit of all stakeholders in the Australian abalone industry and the fishery.

Each jurisdiction has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Victoria is a leader in industry-led data collection and safety, Tasmania leads on value-adding to the product, and Western Australia is current leaders in shark mitigation. The purpose of the project is to share these strengths with each other. The project will also utilise industry expertise and contacts in key strength areas. For example, fisheries scientists, health practitioners, processing and marketing sectors.

The most important part of this project is that it is diver-led, which will ensure industry participation, and that it will contain relevant and appropriate content for divers.


1. To facilitate improved knowledge exchange between Australian abalone divers across jurisdictions
2. To build collaboration and exchange knowledge between divers, experts, and stakeholders across all abalone fishing jurisdictions
3. To deliver appropriate dissemination materials which are accessible to all Australian abalone divers
4. To review the AWA® Quality Assurance Code of Practice

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