Catch! - Recreational fishing news from DPIRD Fisheries, Western Australia
Issue No. 47 (special edition), December 2019

What you need to know this abalone season


This year’s abalone fishing days in the West Coast Zone (currently between Busselton Jetty and Moore River) are between 7am and 8am on:

  • Saturday 14 December 2019
  • Saturday 11 January 2020
  • Saturday 1 February 2020
  • Saturday 15 February 2020.

You must have a current licence to fish for abalone and produce it if requested by a Fisheries Officer.

The area north of Moore River is currently closed to abalone fishing until further notice.

The abalone season in the Southern Zone (Busselton Jetty to the South Australian border) is underway and continues until 15 May 2020.


Make safety your first priority

Abalone fishers

Local water conditions can vary between fishing locations and fishers must take responsibility for their own safety – at no time should you enter the water unless you are confident in your ability to handle the conditions.

Here are some more tips to help you stay safe if you’re heading out abalone fishing:

  • Carry your catch in a loose-weave net bag; this will allow water to pass through and not become a dragging weight.
  • Attach your measuring gauge to your wrist; don’t hang it around your neck.
  • Study the waves before you get into the water and keep an eye on the swell while fishing – it is easy to be injured on reefs.
  • Wear protective footwear and a wetsuit or light clothing that will not become too heavy when wet.
  • If you are unsure whether conditions are too rough, don’t go in.
  • If you do get into trouble, try to stay calm and raise one arm (an international distress signal) to attract help.

Safety tips for abalone fishing are available on the SLSWA website and in the Abalone recreational fishing guide.

Are the West Coast Zone fishing days guaranteed to go ahead?

People collecting abalone off shore

The number of days may be reduced or extended if in-season monitoring shows it is necessary to protect stock sustainability or to provide additional opportunity to take the recreational sector’s catch.

To ensure fisher and SLSWA volunteer safety, if unsafe conditions are predicted the department, in consultation with SLSWA and Recfishwest, will close the fishery on that day.

If a fishing day is cancelled due to unsafe weather, a replacement day may be added to the end of the season. The replacement day is currently scheduled for Saturday 7 March, however the replacement day will only go ahead if catches in the other scheduled days are within the target level.

Know the rules

Make sure you know the rules before you head out abalone fishing this season. Our Fisheries Officers will be closely monitoring fishers throughout the season to make sure everyone complies with bag and size limits, and has a current licence.

The bag limit in the West Coast Zone (i.e. the maximum number of abalone you can have in your possession) is 15 Roe’s abalone per fisher, and 5 greenlip or brownlip abalone (combined). Roe’s abalone must have a minimum size of 60mm, and greenlip and brownlip abalone a minimum size of 140mm.

You can receive a hefty fine for exceeding the bag limit or taking abalone smaller than the minimum size. Fishing can only be done for yourself – not for friends or other family members.

Download a copy of our abalone recreational fishing guide or check the rules on the online rules website or the Recfishwest app.