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Roe’s Abalone

( Haliotis roei )
Description

The Roe’s abalone is a type of herbivorous marine mollusc called a Gastropod. The rough, oval-shaped protective shell is reddish-brown and distinguished by small longitudinally parallel ridges. On the inside the shell is smooth and shiny with mother-of-pearl colouration. The shell consists of a row of small holes along the outer edge which they use to expel water. The body is primarily comprised of a large muscular foot which it uses to crawl along reef and rocky substrate and suction on tightly when disturbed or threatened. They are named after a surveyor by the name of John Septimus Roe who was involved in charting the WA coastline and animal species.

 

Other names

Abs, Muttonfish

 

Common size

6-9cm

 

Related species

Greenlip abalone, Brownlip abalone, Blacklip abalone, Paua (NZ)

 

Lifespan

At least 10 years

 

Habitat

Shallow limestone and bouldery granite reefs up to 5m depth. Often inhabiting cracks and crevices in the wave-swept intertidal zone.

 

Reproduction

Roe’s abalone are broadcast spawners whereby males and females release their sperm or eggs into the water at the same time. They spawn mostly in winter and reach maturity at roughly 2 1/2 years old and 4cm in shell length.

 

Diet

Use their rasp-like radula (tongue) to graze on algae with a preference for drifting red algae that floats by.

 

Catch care

Keep your abalone in a keeper net in the water or a wet hessian bag (or similar) in a cool shady place and refrigerate as soon as practically possible.

 

Information courtesy of Department of Fisheries WA.

How to Catch
Distribution

Distributed along temperate to tropical coastlines from Steep Point WA and south around to Victoria. They are found around rocky outcrops and headlands as well as small offshore islands.

Eating

5 stars. Abalone are highly prized marine snail sought after for their excellent eating qualities. The muscular foot is the part which is eaten and is a delicacy in many countries, particularly throughout Asia. Abalone provide great eating and can be consumed raw or cooked in many ways including soups, chowder, BBQ, and are excellent fried in a variety of marinades, chilli & garlic, egg and breadcrumb, saute. They also go great with a sweet chilli & sour cream dip!

Fast Facts
  • Are from the family Haliotidae (abalone)
  • Distinguished by small longitudinally parallel ridges on the shell
  • Can reach up to 12.5cm across the shell
  • The Roe’s Abalone fishing season is one of the world’s shortest recreational fishing seasons lasting only a few hours over 5 days per year
  • Can reach population densities up to 400 animals per square metre
  • Are preyed upon by fish, stingrays, sea stars, rock lobster and octopus
  • Nearly 80 tonnes are taken by recreational and commercial fishers in the Perth metropolitan area annually
  • Abalone is very popular and expensive leading to over-fishing in many countries