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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Three mollusc research staff placing abalone onto a reef
Our research team translocated 86,000 abalone from southern WA waters onto Kalbarri’s northern reefs to restock the population following the marine heatwave.
Wednesday 2 May 2018

Juvenile abalone found on Kalbarri reefs

​Seven years after the 2011 marine heatwave wiped out 99 per cent of the Roe’s abalone on Kalbarri’s northern reefs, there are positive signs that a recovery is underway.

A Fisheries research project in 2016 supervised the relocation of more than 86,000 abalone from Esperance and the Perth metropolitan area, where they were carefully placed onto the Kalbarri reefs, in a process known as re-seeding.

Around 9,000 wild adults and 77,000 hatchery-bred juveniles were transported to Kalbarri by our researchers and released by hand to five monitored reef sites where they settled safely.

New juvenile stock have since been detected at the release sites, providing an indication that the abalone are settling, breeding and adapting to Kalbarri’s rougher sea conditions.

Another batch of hatchery-bred abalone were released to the reefs to further bolster the population.

The abalone re-seeding is the first of its kind on this scale for Western Australia and is providing promising signs for the recreational and commercial abalone fisheries in the future. However a full recovery is not expected for a number of years.

To protect recovering stocks, there is a ban on all abalone fishing  north of Moore River until further notice.

The re-seeding project was funded by the Federal Government’s Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre.



Last modified: 2/05/2018 2:49 PM

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