About the industry

Economic and Social Outcomes for Tasmania

Tasmania’s abalone fishery is the worlds largest abalone resource supplying over 25% of total annual global production of wild caught product.

The abalone industry is Tasmania’s most valuable wild harvested marine resource and one of the states largest export earners.

Thirteen Hundred  tonnes of live weight abalone are harvested annually and over 95% is exported principally to the north Asian markets of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan. Most of the annual production is exported in live form with the balance available in canned, dried, frozen or vacuum packed formats.

Generating prosperity (The Value)

The current level of export revenue generated by the abalone industry (about $100 million per annum) generates some $300 million of associated economic activity (via economic multipliers) into the state’s economy – a very significant figure that ensures all Tasmanian’s share in the success of the fishery. 

Sharing the Success

The Tasmanian abalone industry provides over $30 million of wage income per annum via the harvesting (divers and deck hands), processing (factory workers, truck drivers and administrators), marketing and exporting (managers and consultants) and service industries (mechanics, technicians, welders and boilermakers). 

The industry has a long history of providing many areas of Tasmanian commerce with vital investment capital. As such, additional employment is gained via an increasing diversification of investment outside of the fishing industry in a multitude of areas.

Agriculture, viticulture and wine making, retail, wholesale, property development, tourism and aquaculture as well as a diverse range of other businesses and enterprises all share in the profits generated by the abalone industry. 

Fundamental and substantial restructuring of the abalone industry in 1991 has permitted and encouraged non-diving investors to directly purchase abalone quota units and as these continue to “change hands” the number of Tasmanian’s sharing in the success will only increase over time. Tasmanian families and businesses hold over 90% of the total Tasmanian abalone quota.

In every sense of the word, Tasmania’s abalone fishery is a model industry. Thanks to the foresight and responsible attitudes of industry participants, Tasmanian’s will all benefit from a sustainable fishery that generates valuable export income and directly and indirectly employs a significant number of Tasmanian’s. Additionally, profits are re-invested back into the Tasmanian economy in many diverse ways creating further employment and generating new wealth throughout the state.

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