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Directors and staff

Adrian Cuthbertson

Adrian Cuthbertson
Acting President

Adrian Cuthbertson is a third generation fisherman. He graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1974. Adrian paid for his university tuition by working as a dinghy boy on an abalone mothership on the west coast of Tasmania. In 1977 he was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship that enabled him to study abalone hatchery and farming techniques in Japan, the USA and Mexico. He graduated to skipper of an abalone mothership in 1978 and held that position until 1983. Adrian was the Tasmanian President of the Australian Fishing Industry Council in 1978 and 1979.  Adrian started the first Australian abalone farm on Tasmania’s east coast in 1986. In 1989 he was the first to ship live abalone on a regular basis to markets in Japan. He established Seafood Traders Pty Ltd at Cambridge in 1993 as a live abalone export company. Seafood Traders Pty Ltd is the longest operating live abalone exporter in Tasmania with the business now being managed by Adrian’s son Alex. Over a 30 year period Adrian has developed his own regular markets for live abalone in Japan, Taiwan, China and the USA.   Adrian is the CEO and major shareholder Marine Bio Technology Australia Pty Ltd, a drug discovery company developing anti viral products from abalone blood. He is also an abalone quota owner.

Rory Byrne

Rory Byrne
Executive Member

Rory has been involved in the seafood industry since the late 1980’s.  In that time Rory has held various licences either individually or as part of his company TAS Fish Pty Ltd. Rory’s representative career started as the Commercial Divers representative on the Professional Fishermen’s Association of Tasmania,  and then the Executive Officer  of the Fishing Industry Training Board which became  Seafood and Maritime Training.   Over 30 years Rory has represented the Tasmanian seafood industry on both state and national education bodies and  is interested in ensuring the abalone industry has a sound future based upon the best science driving sound management strategies.

Lynn Mason

Lynn Mason
Acting Vice President

Lynn’s family Has been involved in the abalone fishery continuously since 1976.  The have been involved as divers, processors and quota holders, while no longer processing, Lynn continues to be actively involved as a quota holder, as well as managing dive entitlements.  Lynn has been a director and Chairperson of various boards since 1990.  Lynn has recently been Chairperson of Metro Tasmania, Chairperson of the  Tasmanian Community Fund, and Chairperson of Tasmanian Affordable Housing Ltd.  Lynn is currently on the board of Crime Stoppers Tasmania and RAW.  Lynn is past Mayor and past President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania, and has plenty of experience in dealing with all levels of government.  Lynn is also a past Telstra Tasmanian Businesswoman of the Year and a past Westpac Australian Businesswomen of the Year.

Sean Larby

Sean Larby
Treasurer

Sean Larby is currently an abalone diver, quota holder representative, abalone dive entitlement owner, sea urchin diver, the Tasmanian commercial dive association treasurer and secretary, commercial dive entitlement owner and very recently became an IMAS staff member employed to perform abalone abundance surveys and other field work.  Sean graduated from the Australian Maritime College in 1992 with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Fisheries) and never forgets how lucky he is to be diving in a wild fishery in Tasmania’s pristine environment. Sean appreciates the opportunity to feed people around the world with our renowned seafood and specifically one of the most sought after culinary items on the planet. He is passionate about Tasmanian abalone and it’s place in the environment, on the plate and in the world.

Alan Gray

Alan Gray
Executive Member and Company Secretary

Alan has been involved in the industry since 1988 and started diving in 1994, is a Director of Shelly Point Seafish Pty Ltd.  Director of Fishing Investment Pty Ltd (broker, consultancy, valuation company).  Abalone quota holder and diesel engineer.  Alan was elected to the Board of  the Tasmanian Abalone Council from 1996 – 2008, Chairman of the Divers Sub-Council 1997-1998, Chairman of the Quota Holder Sub-Council 2013-2019.   A member of Abalone Fishery Advidory Committee, Abalone Futures Committee and Fishery Resources Advisory Group.

Robert Royle

Rob Royle
Executive Member

Rob holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Sydney University and has worked in the civil and building construction industry, as a manager and company owner, for government authorities and private owners.  He invested in the Tasmanian  Abalone industry in 1987 and was actively involved in the delivery of the Deed of Agreement in 1994 and negotiation of subsequent variations.  As the inaugural Chair of the Quota Holder Sub-Council he promoted and participated in the introduction of zones to the abalone fishery.  In managing the harvesting of quota he has developed relationship with divers, processors and governments involved in the industry.  He has investments in rural production and property and is actively involved in management of those investments.

Susanne Forward

Sue Forward
Quota Holder Sub-Council Chair

Sue was born & educated in Launceston and has been a Quota holder since the late 1980’s.  A business owner & company director for over 35 years, including  previously Dealer Principal for Bobcat Earthmoving Equipment in Tasmania for 10 years.  Elected Quota Holders Sub-Council Chair, August 2019.

Jesse Gasparinatos

Diver Sub Council Chair

Jesse Gasparinatos is a second generation abalone diver who’s been actively fishing for 11 years and has always held an interest in the governance of the TACL. For the last 4 years he has been running a mother-boat. After completing year 12 Jesse studied business at The University of Tasmania for two and a half years before leaving to pursue a position with Betfair Australia as a telephone betting team leader, that then lead into starting a key account team managing betting positions across a wide range of sports for high value customers. After 6 years with Betfair Jesse left and began diving as his full time occupation. 

Tasmanian Abalone Council Executive Staff

Administration Officer

Margie Westlake

Interim CEO

Dean Lisson