Abalone Disease at Cape Nelson

Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG), also known as abalone disease, is a viral disease which affects the nervous system of abalone and results in curling of the foot, swelling of the mouth, leading to weakness and death of abalone.

AVG has no known effects on human health.

A Control Area was first declared on 4 May 2021 following detections of AVG at Cape Nelson, near Portland, to help stop the spread of the disease.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority is working closely with Agriculture Victoria to respond to these detections.

Update 1 July

A reduced Control Area is in place from the western tip of Bridgewater Bay to Cape Sir William Grant.

Although it is outside of the Control Area, please keep in mind there is a no-fishing zone within 500m of the Yumbah aquaculture facility, near Narrawong. This Aquaculture Protection Area remains in place within 500m of the Yumbah facility – as shown in the attached map. No fishing is permitted in this area.

The Control Area was reduced after thorough dive surveys, testing and surveillance confirmed the disease was localised to those areas. Discovery Bay and from Cape Grant through to Narrawong (including Portland) are now not included in the Control Area, and reopen to fishing, diving, snorkelling and boating.

Boats and fishing equipment cannot be anchored in the Control Area, however a boat can move or drift through the area using fishing lines without sinkers attached (i.e. trolling for tuna).

Line fishing from the Portland breakwater is permitted provided fishers are standing on the breakwater.

All other restrictions remain in place for the Control Area, including:

  • taking of abalone and other shellfish
  • use of weighted commercial fishing equipment, commercial abalone equipment, recreation hoop nets, bait traps, hauling nets
  • practice of both commercial and recreational diving for abalone
  • taking of rock lobster, all shellfish, sea urchins and any of the substrate or sea floor and
  • movement of any abalone or shellfish out of the control area unless the movement is in accordance with a permit issued by an inspector.

To view a map of the updated Control Area, visit Agriculture Victoria's website.

For additional information please see the following links:

Fact sheets are also available in the following languages by clicking the links below: