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WA’s commercial wild abalone fishery becomes world-leader

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly yesterday announced Western Australia’s commercial wild-caught abalone fishery has become the first commercial abalone fishery in the world to receive sustainability certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

The wild-caught abalone industry in WA has an estimated value of more than $8 million annually, making it a valuable contributor to the economy.

There are 50 licence holders in the State’s south-west wild-caught commercial abalone fishery that harvest WA’s three species of abalone – Roe’s, greenlip and brownlip abalone.

Fishermen dive or wade for the highly prized shellfish, which are then either canned or frozen before being sent to seafood markets throughout Asia.

The wild-caught abalone industry is one of eight WA fisheries that have achieved MSC certification. Other fisheries certified include WA rock lobster, Exmouth Gulf prawn trawl, Shark Bay prawn trawl, Peel Harvey Estuary blue swimmer crab and sea mullet, Australian west coast deep sea crab and the West Coast Silver lipped pearl fishery.