Abalone Industry


The South Australian abalone industry was established in the 1970’s and has been managed under a quota system since the mid-1980’s. There are three zones in South Australia, with the Western Zone (Eyre Peninsula to the Western Australian border) being the largest . This zone has 22 licenses and an annual quota for blacklip and greenlip abalone.  When the quota is filled, fishing concludes for the year until the following January when the quota is renewed.

Job Information

Type of Job

  • Sheller – responsible for operating the boat while the diver is in the water
  • Diver – dives solo collecting abalone


There is a full year to catch the quota, however most fishing is done between January and June.

Typical Wage

Varies widely


The industry is characterised by long hours on working days (10-12 hrs), but there are a limited number of days fishing per year (50-70 days).

Experience and qualifications required/desirable

You will need a strong work ethic, the ability to work unsupervised, and an ability to handle stressful, and sometimes unpredictable situations.


  • Coxswains/skippers ticket
  • occupational diving
  • first aid, oxygen providers ticket

Best part of the job

The chance for adventure. Work in remote & beautiful locations. There are also a limited number of working days required to catch the quota, with good pay.

Contact details for job seekers

Abalone industry Association of South Australia