Is abalone sustainable?

Sustainable abalone is not available yet to buy with the blue fish tick in Australia and New Zealand.

What is abalone?

Abalone is a type of large, flat, sea snail, highly prized by Asian restaurants in Australia and overseas, making abalone one of Australia’s most highly-valued seafood species. Brownlip (Haliotis conicopora), greenlip (Haliotis laevigata) and Roe's abalone (Haliotis roei) are sold canned, frozen, and increasingly as fresh product, to key markets in Australia, Japan, China and South-East Asia.



How do I know if abalone is sustainable?

Abalone carrying the MSC blue fish tick is certified sustainable. MSC labelled abalone comes from a fishery that has been independently assessed to the MSC Fisheries Standard. Companies using the blue fish tick all along the supply chain have been assessed to ensure products can be traced back to an MSC certified fishery.

Why is there no sustainable abalone available to buy in Australia and New Zealand?

There are currently no abalone products with the blue fish tick available in Australia and New Zealand. Consumer demand is important. You can use your voice to ask your supermarket or restaurant to consider stocking abalone with the MSC’s blue fish tick.

Western Australia’s internationally desired brownlip, greenlip and roe abalone are the first abalone in the world to be certified sustainable. The abalone fishery gained certification through a Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development program facilitating opportunities for all of the state’s fisheries to be assessed to the MSC Fisheries Standard.

Abalone facts

Unlike most other popular molluscs, including scallops, oysters and mussels which are bivalves with two shells hinged together, abalone have just one shell. Abalone divers operate from small vessels, using a ‘hookah’ (surface supplied breathing apparatus) or scuba. The shellfish are prised from rocks using a tool called an iron.

Watch video

WA Abalone Fishery


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