Go to top of page

The illegal market in Australian abalone


The Australian Institute of Criminology has released a report detailing information about the illegal abalone market in Australia. The report identifies the different ways in which abalone may be illegally caught, namely: by organised poachers, licensed divers, shore-based divers, extended family groups or individuals. Such abalone is then prepared for consumption, often in illegal processing factories or "backyard" set-ups. While some abalone is kept for personal use, most is destined for sale. This includes sale to domestic buyers, international tourists, and sales direct to consumer markets in Asia. "The Illegal Market in Australian Abalone" report provides an overview of the illicit abalone market, including its links to organised crime, and also discusses the detrimental effect the illegal market has on the legitimate abalone industry.

Methods used in each stage of the illegal abalone market



  • Tailby, R. & Gant, F. 2002, "The Illegal Market in Australian Abalone", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 225, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

Cite article

2002. The illegal market in Australian abalone. Crime facts info no. 28. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. https://aic.gov.au/publications/cfi/cfi028