Blacklip Abalone

Licence required

You must be 10 years or older to hold an abalone licence.
Get a licence
Abalone blacklip
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe

Licence required

You must be 10 years or older to hold an abalone licence.
Get a licence
Season: Open all year

bag limit10


possession limit20


boat limit-

Limits relate to both species combined.

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size

​120 mm from Arthur River east to Musselroe Point, 138 mm for all other waters. See size limit maps for exact boundaries.

Abalone are measured across the widest part of the shell.
An abalone measuring device must be either: a Vernier calliper; or a gauge, knife or abalone iron with prominent markings or extended prongs that indicates the minimum size limits for abalone.

Other names

abs, muttonfish

Scientific name

Haliotis rubra

Grows to

Up to


Identifying features

Blacklip abalone have rough, oval shells with a low spire and a distinctive row of holes around the edge. The shell is a red to brown colour with fine spiral ridges and a pearly lining. They have a large muscular foot with a black edge by which they attach to rocks and crevices. The shells on larger abalone are often covered by algae and other small marine invertebrates.

​Area restrictions

See size limit maps showing the areas corresponding to the different size limits for blacklip abalone and the abalone biosecurity area in Northern Bass Strait. You are allowed to take abalone within 50 metres of the shore of any island in the biosecurity area but the abalone cannot be taken or possessed elsewhere in th​e area. For more details, see Abalone Fishing​ page.​


Blacklip abalone live subtidally in more exposed reef environmen​ts in areas of high wave energy.  They shelter in rocky crevices and gutters, moving out onto rocky, kelp covered bottom at night to feed.

Fishing information

Blacklip are the most common species of abalone in Tasmania where they are taken recreationally by diving.  They feed by trapping drifting seaweeds with the front part of the foot or by grazing on algae and seagrasses.  Growth rates vary with location and time of year.


Try to size abalone before you remove it.  Do not leave abalone upside down or on a sandy bottom.  Abalone that have been cut will bleed to death so take care in handling.

Public Health advice

Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the Department of Health and Human Services or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.


Abalone meat has low oil content and a distinctive subtle flavour.  It has a dense white flesh which may need tenderising.  Use whole or sliced.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550