While 90% of Australia’s abalone is harvested in the wild, the farmed sector is growing rapidly with the highly lucrative Asian shellfish market. Abalone aquaculture is concentrated to the south of Australia in WA, SA, Victoria and Tasmania. There are around 20 farms that produce about 725 tonnes of abalone every year, with production volume increasing by about 25% every year. The main species cultivated is the greenlip abalone (Haliotis laevigata), with smaller production of the blacklip abalone (Haliotis ruba).
Abalone farming occurs at land-based farms using tanks, but may also occur in the ocean on artificial reefs or in cages suspended off the bottom. Land-based system are the more popular system since they offer a greater degree of control over the growing process. Australia is at the leading edge of land-based abalone farming having developed technical hatchery, nursery and grow-out systems.