Abalone divers use relatively small, trailer size vessels as a platform for harvesting abalone. These vessels may be towed to the dive location or used from a larger mother boat operation. The holder of an abalone dive licence must also have access to abalone quota.
In recent years, a number of dynamics have impacted abalone stocks in Tasmanian waters. In response, the Government and abalone industry have implemented significant cuts to the abalone Total Allowable Catch (TAC) by almost a half, to the current level of approximately 1,500 tonnes
There is a distinct separation of the investment sector and catching sector of the wild caught Tasmanian abalone industry. This has created a level of conflict, with specific reference to the beach price paid to investors, the catch price paid to divers ($/kg rate), and the excess capacity (number of divers) to catch a declining TAC.