2010/704 Maximising the value by minimising stress in abalone: Optimising harvesting strategies
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2010/704 Maximising the value by minimising stress in abalone: Optimising harvesting strategies

By Natalie Moltschaniwskyj, Craig Mundy, and James Harris



The Abalone Council of Australia (ACA) has clearly identified in their Strategic Plan (2007-2017) goals to have an Australian national wild abalone brand driven by a national Quality Assurance and Product Integrity Program, and to increase the industry gross volume of production (in real terms) by 25% to $268 million in 2012 and by 50% to $321 million by 2017.


This project supported these goals, particularly a desire to increase the value of the abalone, by ensuring that animals in the best possible physiological condition are provided to the processor for live export. This project also encompassed the development of practices that ensure marine environmental sustainability, because animals that are not suitable or which cannot be transported to maintain optimal physiological status will not be harvested. The development of handling and transport protocols delivers into the desire for the industry to develop uniform Codes of Practice and product standards. Ultimately this will be about effectively managing harvest and the integrity of product going to market. This project supported ACA's vision to work with fishers, processors and value adders to establish a whole-of-chain approach to creating premium Australian products and servicing consumers


This project aimed to: 

  1. Quantify changes in stress levels in abalone from the time that they are removed from the reef to the point of export from the processors, including the live-holding period
  2. Quantify how the magnitude of stress and the capacity to recover from stress is affected by the different natural factors time spent on the deck prior to packing in crates post-harvest, the extent and use of seawater immersion on the boat, the timing and frequency of water changes during transport, the influence of reproductive condition, and season of harvest.