ACA Board of Directors 

Chief Executive 

Dean Lisson

B.Ed, BAppSc (App Chem), Grad Dip Bus (Prof Mgt), MBA, FAICD, MRACI

As a long-term advocate for the abalone industry, Dean has a broad knowledge of matters related to the Australian and global abalone industry and has developed an extensive network within Australia’s commercial abalone sector. Dean has more than 2 decades of experience managing and/or overseeing national and international abalone related research and development projects. He is currently Chief Executive of Abalone Council Australia Ltd and the Tasmanian Abalone Council Ltd.

Dean is the Managing Director of his own commercial fishing company (est. 1986) and has been a commercial abalone diver and abalone quota owner since 1986. He is also a shareholder, director and currently Chairman of Terra Tasmania Resources P/L, a mining exploration company based in Tasmania. Dean has post graduate qualifications in business management (MBA, UTAS, 2009), is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD, 2008), has a Graduate Diploma of Business in Professional Management (UTAS, 1995), a Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Chemistry (TSIT, 1985), is a Member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (MRACI, 2008), and has a Bachelor of Education in Maths/Science Teaching (TCAE, 1982) and a Tasmanian Teachers Certificate (TTC, 1983).

Vice Chairman and SA Director

Jonas Woolford

Jonas lives on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia and has been diving for abalone in the Western Zone of the South Australian Fishery since 1997. Working with his brother Tobin and Tobin's wife Carissa, they now run the family business Eyrewoolf Enterprises Pty Ltd harvesting and exporting their Abalone. He holds a Graduate Certificate of Australian Rural Leadership, an Advanced Diploma of Accounting, is a graduate of the Lead on Seafood 2006 Professional Development Program, the Australian Rural Leadership Program 2010, a Nuffield Scholar 2017 and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jonas has been a Director of the Abalone Council Australia Ltd. since 2009 and the President of the Abalone Industry Association of South Australia Inc. since 2009. Jonas has been Chair of South Australia’s peak seafood industry body Wildcatch Fisheries SA Inc and continues to sit on the board as representative for the Abalone sector.

SA Director

Kane Williams

Kane is the general manager of Western Abalone Processors in Port Lincoln, South Australia, and has been involved in the abalone sector in the Western Zone of South Australia since 2005. Prior to his current position, Kane was a commercial abalone diver for 10 years and also a consultant within the fishing and aquaculture sectors to industry, government and research agencies. He has been a committee member of the Abalone Industry Association of South Australia since 2008 and an office holder for some of this time. He holds a degree in marine science with Honours in marine ecology, and a degree in aquaculture from Adelaide and Flinders University.

Victorian Director

Craig Fox

Craig started commerical fishing at age 16 as a crayfish deckhand in Port Fairy, where they harvested both crayfish and giant king crab. This opportunity was pivotal to his professional fishing career as he had a great mentor, who dedicated many hours to his development as a fisherman. Then at 21, he skippered his mentor's vessel which provided a new experience and challenge. When he was 23, he had the opportunity to work for a Western Zone abalone diver, and he knew then, this was the ultimate sector for him. Craig leased his first licence in 2000, but his career was put on hold when we had the AVG virus a few years after that. As the recovery began, he bought a Western Zone licence and has been committed to returning the fishery back to how he remembers as a young deckhand. He is a Director of Aqua Fox Diving and holds a Victorian Western Zone Abalone licence and quota. In 2015, he graduated from the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP). Craig currently holds the following positions: Western Abalone Divers Association (Chairman), VicRAC FDRC Advisory Committee (Board Member), Abalone Industry Committee (Board Member), Seafood Industry Victoria (Board Member) and Director, Fox's Transport. 

Victorian Director

Kaz Bartaska

Kaz first entered the Victorian Abalone Industry in 1975 as International Sales & Marketing Manager at SPC Ltd. In 1985 he established Lonimar Australia Pty Ltd as a processor and marketer of Asian Specialty Seafoods (Abalone, Sea Cucumber and Shark's Fin). The company was rebranded in 2008 as Kansom Australia Pty Ltd and is known internationally as an innovator leading in the processing, value-adding and marketing of gourmet seafoods. Between 1996 and 2001, Kaz was chair of the Victorian Statutory Authority, the Fisheries Co-Management Council, which was established under the 1995 Fisheries Act to promote co-management of Victoria's fisheries. Kaz is a board member of the AVCZ (Abalone Victoria Central Zone) and the Apollo Bay Fisherman's Co-op. He is a member of the Abalone Industry Committee and the Victorian Abalone Processor's Association. He studied Ecomonics and Politics at Monash University and Marketing at Chisholm Institute of Technology. 

Tasmanian Director

Joey McKibben

Joey lives in Hobart, Tasmania and has been diving for abalone in Tasmania since 2007. Joey has been President of the Tasmanian Abalone Council Ltd since 2014, he previously held positions of Vice President (2010-2014) and Diver Chair (2007-2010). Joey is a member of the Abalone Fishery Advisory Committee (since 2007) and Fishery Resource Advisory Group (since 2007). Joey graduated from the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP) in 2009.

NSW Director

John Smythe

John has been a diver in NSW since 1975 and is currently still diving. He has had various representative positions including being on the NSW Fisheries Research Advisory Board and NSW Seafood Industry Council and a Director of Seafood Training NSW since 1990. As chair of the NSW Abalone Development Company, John was a founding director of the ACA following the 1st National Abalone convention.

NSW Director

Greg Finn

Greg started his diving career as a pearl diver for Paspaley Pearls in 1998. He has been involved in the Sea Urchin/Turban Shell and Abalone fisheries for 17 years and has shareholdings in both industries. Greg is an active member of the Abalone Association of NSW and the Commercial Fishing NSW Advisory Council. He has had extensive involvement in advocating for the Abalone industry and has worked with shareholders, DPI and other stakeholders to support the industry’s long-term sustainability and viability. In recent times Greg has been active in developing an increase in demand for Sea Urchin and Abalone within the domestic marketplace.

WA Director

Kerry Rowe

Kerry purchased a West Australian Abalone license and began diving professionally in 1984. He is a founding shareholder and Chairman of Esperance Abalone Enterprises since 1987, was a Director on the board of the WA Fishing Industry Council from 1998 to 2002, and again from 2006 to 2009. He is Chairman of the WA Abalone Industry Association and President of the Esperance Professional Abalone Divers Association.

WA Director

Nathan Adams

Nathan lives in Augusta, Western Australia, where he has been a self employed abalone fisherman for over ten years. Previous to that, he was an abalone diver in the Western Zone of South Australia. Nathan has completed a Diploma of Applied Science in Aquaculture at the University of Tasmania and is currently Vice Chairman and the Executive Officer for the Abalone Industry Association of Western Australia.