Control area to assist wild abalone stock recovery

07 October 2022

The recovery of south-west Victoria’s wild abalone stock is being given a helping hand with the introduction of a Control Area near Portland.

Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO, Travis Dowling, said the Control Area had been introduced between Whites Beach and Point Danger, inclusive of Lawrence Rocks, to close the area to all abalone fishing.

“This is a proactive measure to help abalone stocks in the Portland area recover after they were severely affected by last year’s Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG) outbreak,” Mr Dowling said.

“Continued monitoring shows no active signs of the virus, but with the weather heating up and diving for abalone popular among many fishers heading to the south-west, this is the best way to give stocks around Portland the chance to bounce back.

“Commercial fishers have put their hands up and will also comply with the closed area, which is a great show of collaboration to ensure our fisheries are sustainable for generations to come.”

A Fisheries Notice is in place to outline the Control Area, which stretches more than 30km along the coastline south of Portland. The Control Area will remain in place until June 30, 2023.

Mr Dowling said south-west Victoria still offers stacks of great recreational fishing opportunities for families looking to get away as the weather warms up.

“There’s still plenty of places to dive for abalone along the iconic coastline, big barrel southern bluefin tuna are running hot offshore and spring means snapper for many saltwater fishers.

“If freshwater fishing is more your thing, Lake Purrumbete and Lake Bullen Merri are well stocked with trout and chinook salmon and upgraded boating facilities at both are nearly complete as part of the state’s biggest ever boat ramp construction program, overseen by Better Boating Victoria.

“No matter where you’re fishing or what you’re fishing for, cleaning and drying your gear after you dive or wet a line is an easy way to help make sure our fisheries are as healthy as possible.”

To learn more about the Control Area in place near Portland, including GPS coordinates, click here.

If you’re diving anywhere in Victoria and see an abalone you think is sick, please take the abalone, leave the water immediately and call the 24-hour Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.