Understanding recruitment collapse of juvenile abalone in the Eastern Zone Abalone fishery – development of pre-recruitment monitoring, simulation of recruitment variation and predicting the impact of climate variation

Project Number:



University of Tasmania (UTAS)

Principal Investigator:

Craig Mundy

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Environment, Industry

Development of juvenile abalone monitoring methods

Final Report
Author(s):Craig Mundy, Sarah Pyke, Jaime McAllister, Hugh Jones
Date Published:June 2018
Over the past three decades the Tasmanian Eastern Zone Abalone Fishery has experienced several fluctuations in catch and catch rates of Blacklip Abalone as well as environmental perturbations, which may be affecting productivity. The capacity to measure inter-annual variation in Blacklip Abalone juvenile year-class strength would provide valuable prior warning of decline. Artificial structures referred to as "Abalone Recruitment Modules" were trialled to monitor changes in the abundance of Blacklip Abalone to meet the conditions of the Eastern Zone Abalone Fishery in Tasmania. This requires testing designs in different habitats and improvements to the method of deployment on reef substrates. Work was also required to establish a network of these that is effective in terms of statistical power and operational feasibility. Key rods: Abalone Recruitment Modules; Blacklip Abalone (Haliotis rubra rubra); Eastern Zone Abalone Fishery; Juvenile


1. Optimise collector module design for quantifying abundance of juvenile abalone across a range of habitat types

2. Determine links between juvenile abundance observed on modules and abalone in surrounding habitat

3. Estimate expected juvenile abundance on collectors in a ‘normal’ recruitment year using published natural mortality data and known abundance.