Brad Adams

Bradley Adams, Managing Director - Ocean Grown Abalone Ltd 
BSc(Biol). G.Dip(Aqua). MBA
Brad is a third-generation fisherman who has been involved in the commercial abalone industry all his life. His father Terry founded the Western Australian commercial abalone diving industry in Augusta in the 1960’s. For 12 years Brad worked as commercial abalone diver along Western Australia’s south coast. During this time Brad was involved in a number of fishery enhancement and research activities including reseeding, translocation, fish-down of stunted stock, rolling closures and video diver stock assessment.
Brad has extensive aquaculture experience. After moving to Tasmania and completing a Post Graduate degree in Aquaculture in 1992 he gained employment experience in the Atlantic Salmon Industry, Pacific Oysters, Blue Mussels & Abalone. In 1994 he developed his first pioneering abalone culture business with well-known abalone identity Kerry Bailey, which was a sea-based abalone grow-out farm in Dunalley, SE Tasmania, called Tasmanian Tiger Abalone, later to become Cold Gold Abalone that is know operated by Craig Moysten Group. 
In 2009 with partners he founded Ocean Grown Abalone Pty Ltd (OGA), a commercial aquaculture business that has conducted a great deal of research and development of Greenlip Abalone ranching technology in Flinders Bay, Western Australia. The system developed by OGA is as close to nature as aquaculture can be. OGA have patented abalone reef modules to build reefs on the seafloor in locations that have all the environmental requirements for abalone populations to thrive, but are missing the rocks, or the habitat. By providing suitable habitat, then seeding those reefs with juvenile abalone OGA have had excellent results in growing seeded abalone to maturity. 
The success of those extensive trials led to OGA commercialising the ranching technology and significant capital has been raised to implement the business plan. In November 2017 OGA completed a listing on the ASX (ASX:OGA). The company is continuing to expand, recently announcing plans for a major investment in a large abalone hatchery and land-based grow-out facility in Esperance, Western Australia. 
Brad was also a Director of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), 2009-2011 and the Chairman from 2011-2013. WAFIC is the peak industry body representing the interests of the Western Australian commercial fishing, pearling and aquaculture industries. He currently serves on the Executive of the Abalone Association of Australasia and the Aquaculture Association of Western Australia.

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.


Mark Asplin

Mark Asplin is a Fishery Manager with the Victorian Fisheries Authority.

As a new fishery manager, engaged with the abalone and sea urchin sectors, Mark uses his background in marine research and regulatory compliance to take a modern and energetic view of his responsibilities.  From quota management to facilitating industry stewardship, Mark is tasked with a variety of functions, but it is his adaptability and approachability that makes him most effective with both internal and external stakeholders.

Coming into his 20th year with the VFA, he has incorporated his love of travel with several professional opportunities, including first hand experience with the commercial oyster fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.  This time spent with the time-honoured (and well armed!) Texas Game Wardens delivered many clear comparisons with Victorian fisheries management and confirmation of many sound practices back home.

With a passion for sustainable resource management and adaptive management strategies, Mark looks forward to a new career phase and many future collaborations across jurisdictions – hopefully with fly-fishing options!

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 annd 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 nd 2991, 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 Apolla 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 Chisolm Institute of Technology. 


Jeremy Cooper



Jeremy is a former paua diver and quota owner and has been the CEO of the Paua Industry Council for the last 15 years. During his time at the helm the industry has been transformed from a disparate and uncooperative bunch of divers to one of the NZ fishing industry's most effective commercial stakeholder organisations. With its “hands on – can do” attitude the industry punches way above its weight allowing it to achieved some noteworthy successes, despite the tough political playing field in New Zealand these days for fisheries.


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.


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. 


Tonis Focas

Born into a Seafood Processing Family.
Worked for Father Peter Focas -Port Nicholson Fisheries off and on from late 1970's to 1984 (business sold).
Worked with Brother Dino Focas in business he started called Ocean Ranch (NZ) Ltd 1989 -2008. Director of Prepared Foods Ltd (PFL-PH 16) 1994-2008. Ocean Ranch purchased by Moana (NZ) Ltd 2008 and continue to work for Moana Abalone.
Original member of Paua Industry bodies started in mid-1990's.
Executive member of Paua Industry Council.
Also  - PauaMac 4-Chatham Islands
          -PauaMac 5-Southland, Otago, Stewart Island
          -PauaMac 7-Marlborough
Member of AAA since late 1990's and long-time member of Executive.




Jayne Gallagher

Recognised nationally and internationally for her work, Jayne is an international trade and market development professional. She has extensive experience working in food and agribusiness sectors in corporate, small business, government and research. She is currently Managing Director and co-founder of Honey & Fox Pty Ltd which provides international business development and marketing services to food, agribusiness and associated companies, specialising in Asian markets.
In addition to her work in seafood Jayne is currently consulting to the pork, red meat and packaging industries.  She is sought after as a speaker nationally and internationally, and currently lectures on international business development for the Executive MBA program at Queensland University of Technology.  Jayne served as President of IAFI (International Association of Seafood Professionals) for 4 years (2005-2009) and is still involved as an executive member of the Board. 
Jayne's professional credentials and memberships

  • BSc (ANU) and EMBA(QUT)

  • Adjunct Academic Fellow, Business School, University of the Sunshine Coast

  • Visiting Fellow, Queensland University of Technology

  • Graduate, Harvard International Women’s Leadership Forum

  • Director, Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community.




Mark Geytenbeek

Mark is a Senior Fisheries Analyst, Inshore Fisheries, Fisheries New Zealand based in the regional Dunedin office. Mark has been employed by Ministry of Fisheries / Fisheries New Zealand since 2007. Within the Inshore team he is involved in providing advice to the Minister of Fisheries on management issues and measures across a variety of South Island and Chatham Island Inshore fish stocks. 
Prior to working for Fisheries New Zealand, Mark worked for a number of years fulfilling different roles in various commercial fishing operations that were involved in a variety of species including   Paua, Rock lobster, Clams and mixed finfish. 

Sam Guthrie


Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner

Australian Trade and Investment Commission &

Deputy Consul-General (Commercial),

Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong

Sam Guthrie commenced as Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner and Deputy Consul-General (Commercial) in March 2016. 

Prior to joining Austrade, Sam headed Newgate Communications’ International Trade and Investment Division providing counsel to inbound and outbound trade and investment clients in Australia and across Asia.  

Before joining Newgate, Sam was General Manager Global Business Development for Australian Wool Innovation, responsible for international offices and key accounts across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. He was based in Shanghai for five years as the Chief Representative of the Australian wool industry. 

Working History
•    Deputy Consul-General (Commercial)                                March 2016 – Present
     Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong

•    Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner                      March 2016 – Present
     Australian Trade and Investment Commission in Hong Kong

•    Director                                                                                March 2016 – Present
     The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau    

•    Associate Partner                                                                 May 2013 – Feb 2016
     Newgate Communications – Australia                

•    Director                                                                             March 2012 – May 2013
     Kreab Worldwide                            

•    General Manager Global Business Development             July 2010 – March 2012
      The Woolmark Company

•    Country Director Greater China                                September 2005 – July 2010
      The Woolmark Company

•    International Trade Communications                       June 2004 – September 2005
      Australian Wool Innovation

17 June 2019


Darvin Hansen

Darvin Hansen grew up working in the family business part time from age 8 up until University. He graduated in Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison having also studied a year of business-related subjects. He has been working at Tasmanian Seafoods ever since, recently managing the Margate abalone live export and canning facility. Darvin is now the second generation to run the business following his father, founder Allen Hansen. He has been active on the board of the Tasmanian Abalone Council Limited as Director and Vice President for 5 years now, as well as on the Minister’s appointed Fisheries Advisory Committee, the Fisheries Research and Advisory Group, and has served on the Executive of the Abalone Association of Australia for 5 years. Always thinking towards the long term, Darvin hopes to do what he can to ensure that, by the time he retires, the fisheries he is associated with are left in significantly better shape than he found them.


Alex Hefel

A well-travelled and experienced Marketing professional, Alex has consulted brands in the FMCG, food & beverage, tourism, finance, sports and education industry, spanning over 4 continents. Having found his calling in the dynamic Chinese market, he has fully emerged himself in the Chinese culture, always staying on top of the key trends that are driving this fascinating market and truly turning his passion into his expertise. At China Skinny, Alex has led a number of research and strategy brands for both Australian and New Zealand brands looking to grow their share in the middle kingdom. He is a well-regarded speaker about marketing in China in both the mainland and internationally.
China Skinny:
Established in 2010, China Skinny is a full-service marketing, research and online agency. Our tools, advice and execution help international businesses entering China, as well as brands already in the market who are looking to grow their share. China Skinny has worked with over 150 brands across 24 categories and a number of disciplines. This helps identify opportunities for synergies that would otherwise be missed by working in silos in China's complex market.


Fred Ledwell

Fred began diving in his teens. He was a member of the Sans Souci Dolphins, a spearfishing club that would compete with other clubs on the weekends, spearing fish in the waters around Sydney. 
In the mid-sixties, the word got out that money could be made down south diving for abalone. Fred was a one of the young men that grew curious and went south to investigate. He threw in his job as a panel beater and along with his new wife Lorrie they packed their belongings and drove the 10 hours south to Mallacoota, just over the Victorian border. They set up camp on the foreshore.
This is where their abalone story began.
Fred dived out of Mallacoota for just over twenty years. He was instrumental in the formation of the industry, helping to make it to what it is today.
Fred sold his Victorian licence in 1989, retired, got itchy feet and purchased a Tasmanian licence around 1990. Fred dived off King Island for the following 10 years, only hanging up his hookah and abalone knife at the age of 70.

Heidi Ledwell

Heidi was born in 1967, just as the abalone industry was taking
shape. Heidi grew up in idyllic surrounds in a very special part of the
world thanks to the abalone industry. Heidi’s love of nature and the
ocean have stayed with her through her career as a graphic designer and then as she moved on to become a full-time artist.
Fred and Heidi realised the importance of capturing the history and
the story of the abalone industry and collaborated their energies to
bring this project to fruition.

Dean Lisson

Dean Lisson, Chief Executive and Tasmanian Director, Abalone Council Australia Ltd. 
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).


Dr Tom McCowan

My first experience working in abalone (paua) fisheries was in 2008 when I started my PhD in genetics, where I investigated the utility of genetic markers as a means of tracing survival rates in reseeded paua in the Marlborough Sounds. Since 2012 I have been the Science Officer for the Paua Industry Council. My role involves managing the collection of fisheries data for stock assessment and industry management, and running industry-based enhancement projects. I also run harvester education and training courses. Most recently, I have been managing the project monitoring paua stocks following the Kaikoura Earthquake in 2016.

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.





Dr Adam Miller

Dr Adam Miller is an ecological geneticist affiliated with the Centre for Integrative Ecology at Deakin University. He completed a PhD at Deakin University in 2006, worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at The University of Melbourne from 2008-2015, and returned to Deakin University as a senior lecturer in 2016. His research program focuses on the application of genetic tools for improving the management of threatened, commercially important, and pest species. He has a particularly keen interest in environmental stress and adaptation research, drawing on genetic and quantitative experimental methods to assess species evolutionary trajectories, environmental resilience, and management strategies that enhance biodiversity outcomes in changing environments. Dr Miller works closely with commercial fisheries, and has led several abalone genetic research programs in partnership with wild harvest and aquaculture sectors and the FRDC. This research has provided industry with an improved understanding of patterns of stock connectivity and the influence of selection on recruitment processes. He currently leads several abalone genetic research programs focussed on topics relating to diet, virus resistance and thermal stress.




Dr Craig Mundy

Dr Craig Mundy is an abalone biologist at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania. He leads the fishery assessment and strategic research program for the Tasmanian wild abalone fishery as part of the UTAS - Tasmanian Government Strategic Partnership Agreement to ensure sustainable management of the Tasmanian abalone fishery. His current research interests are focused on the fisheries ecology of exploited abalone populations, and the use of geo-referenced fisheries data and the application of spatial statistical methods for informing fishery assessment in small vessel fisheries. Prior to joining the University of Tasmania in 2001, Craig worked in the crown-of-thorns research program at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, where he had the unique opportunity of traversing the length of the Great Barrier Reef, gaining an understanding of changes in community structure and state over 2500 km of the GBR. His current field of interest is the quantitative ecology of subtidal benthic marine invertebrates, and he has experience both in applied and strategic research and in tropical and temperate ecosystems. Specific areas of expertise include fisheries management and ecology, spatial analyses and statistics, reproductive and spawning ecology, larval ecology, and recruitment dynamics. 

Philipp Neubauer

Philipp Neubauer is a fisheries scientist with Dragonfly Data Science in Wellington, NZ. Originally from Germany, Phil obtained a MSc in ecological modelling in Marseilles, France, and a PhD in marine ecology from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ. Phil has worked as a fisheries scientist at Rutgers University (NJ, USA), and Dragonfly Data Science. He has been working with pāua fisheries since 2013, and is currently the main assessment scientist for pāua. His key focus is on improving assessment methods for pāua and helping with the development of management strategies for pāua fisheries across New Zealand. Phil is also interested in modelling physiological impacts of climate variability on marine organisms, and strives to combine this interest with his assessment work to develop innovative methods for pāua fisheries.




Dr Norman Ragg

Dr Norman Ragg, PhD (Animal Physiology). University of Canterbury, 2003, MSc (Shellfisheries/Biology/Culture). University of Wales, 1994, BSc (Hons, Marine Biology). University of Wales, 1992.

Norman leads the physiology team at Cawthron, drawing on a background of work in the aquaculture industry combined with training as a classical biologist focusing on physiology. This is brought to bear in a range of projects where the physiology of aquaculture species is a key issue, such as:

  • Quantifying stress and resilience in shellfish

  • Mitigating the effects of ocean acidification and warming: building resilience in the aquaculture industry

  • Identifying resource-efficient shellfish families for use in selective breeding

  • Optimising hatchery processes

  • Enhancing meat quality and yield through good harvest practice and transport technology

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.





Dr Keith Sainsbury

Dr Sainsbury has a background in marine science (marine ecology and mathematical modelling) combined with executive and Board experience in both government and private organisations relating to fishery and marine management. In 2004 Dr Sainsbury was awarded the Japan Prize for his contribution to understanding and sustainable management of continental shelf ecosystems, and in 2012 he received the Swedish Seafood Award for sustainable fisheries management using ecosystem-based approaches.

For over 20y, until 2006, Dr Sainsbury was a Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO. There he led research programs on ecologically and economically sustainable fisheries and the integrated management of marine and coastal ecosystems. These includes programs to support sustainable fisheries from the tropics to the subantarctic and from abalone to tuna. And also programs to support sustainable regional development involving petrochemical industries, aquaculture, tourism, conservation and fisheries. He was vice-chair of the Board of Trustees for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) from 2005-2014 and a member of the Board of Trustees of MSC Asia Pty Ltd from 2013-2016. He was a member of the Board of the Australian Fisheries Research and Development Corporation from 2008-12. He was advisor to the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the Board of a major Asian seafood company from 2011-2015. Dr Sainsbury chaired the FAO process that produced the guidelines for the Ecosystem Approach to Fishery Management and provided the FAO guidelines for ecolabelling of fisheries and fish products. He was a member of the panel to review performance of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the OECD (Chatham House) panel to develop a model for improved governance of regional fisheries management organizations.

Currently Dr Sainsbury is:
- Commissioner with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (2004-present); 
- Associate Professor, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania (2006-present);
- Member of the Technical Advisory Board of the MSC (2004-present) and member of the joint MSC/Aquaculture Stewardship Council standard setting body for seaweed products (2015-present);
- Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation (ISSF; 2015-present)); and
- Director of consulting company SainSolutions Pty Ltd (2006-present).


Nick Savva

Nick Savva BSc, Ass Dip AppSci (Aquaculture) is the Executive Officer of the Australian Abalone Growers Association (Since July 2013) and is also the General Manager of Australia Ocean Biotechnology Pty Ltd. Abtas, abalone farm at Clarence Point in northern Tasmania. 
His past roles include:

  • R&D Manager at Southern Ocean Mariculture, Port Fairy. (abalone) 

  • Technical Manager at Spring Bay Seafoods, Triabunna. (mussels, scallops, abalone)

  • Scientific Officer at NSW Fisheries, Port Stephens. (abalone for reseeding)

  • General Manager at Tasmanian Tiger Abalone Company, Dunalley. (abalone)

  • Hatchery Manager, Darella Holdings, WA. (pearl oysters)

  • Hatchery Manager, Cameron of Tasmania, Dunalley. (oysters)


Kate Simpson

Kate Simpson has over 20 years of experience in fisheries and natural resource management supported by qualifications in marine science and aquaculture. Kate’s skills and experience include developing and managing fisheries, leading large business and small project teams, delivering strategic and policy advice and undertaking scientific research. Her most recent role as fishery manager with the Victorian Fisheries Authority has been focussed on the abalone fishery and working with industry to implement co-management arrangements and harvest strategies. Previous roles and experience include aquaculture research, and management of commercial aquaculture ventures in Indonesia, investigating the potential for the developing fisheries in the Northern Territory, long term fisheries monitoring in Queensland and environmental policy development in Victoria. 


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.




Storm Stanley

Storm has a long association with the fishing industry, both as a working fisherman and in recent years as an industry advocate and consultant. An early interest in free and SCUBA diving and commercial fishing lead to abandoning university studies in favour of a variety of jobs from harbour construction diving, crewing on rock lobster and shark netting vessels, part ownership and working on a Stewart Island mussel farm, to buying and diving his own paua quota.
Since 2006, age, infirmity and changing interests have meant less fishing and more advocacy, including chairing regional (PauaMAC5) and national paua organisations (Paua Industry Council Ltd). 
He is still an active and enthusiastic recreational fisher and diver to balance the increasing workload stuck in an office that the last couple of years have brought.An incurable optimist, Storm reckons the industry is well capable of adapting to the changing operating environment we face. You make your own life, and abalone divers need to apply that philosophy to the diving game.


Alison Turnbull

Alison Turnbull is the Seafood Sub-Program Leader of Food Safety and Innovation at the South Australian Research and Development Institute. This program delivers a wide range of research and development portfolios for the Australian seafood industries, supporting public health and economic development. Alison’s expertise lies in food safety and trade and market access for seafood, particularly shellfish. Alison currently leads SafeFish, an industry and government funded initiative providing technical support on food safety and hygiene issues for trade and market access for Australian seafood (www.Safefish.com.au). She is the immediate past-chair of the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Advisory Committee; is included in the 2017-2021 expert roster of the Joint (FAO/WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives; and has acted as a technical advisor to four Australian government delegations at Codex Alimentarius, particularly around the setting of international standards relating to marine biotoxins in seafood.  Recent research includes improving risk management options for marine biotoxins in seafood (shellfish, rock lobster and abalone), and for sewage management in shellfish growing areas. Alison is passionate about seeing science translated into improved policy and practises for risk management.


Mark Webster

Entering the Abalone industry in 1989 in NSW, then branching into Victoria followed by a move to Tasmania in 2000. Spent 5 years in aquaculture (Abalone, Scallops, Oysters and Mussels) before venturing back to wild abalone in 2007

In 2014 set up “Sea Sult” offering consulting services to the seafood and export industries in Australia and Overseas.

Current chairman of the AAA, current member of the Seafood Export Consultative Committee (SECC), current member of the Tasmanian Abalone Council, past board member and FRAG member of the Tasmanian Abalone Council.


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.



Jonas Woolford

Western zone South Australia wild harvest abalone diver, Nuffield Scholar 2017, President Abalone Industry Association of South Australia Inc, Vice Chair Abalone Council Australia Ltd. Streaky Bay, South Australia.

The worlds wild harvest abalone fisheries have experienced major decline since the production peaks of the ~1960’s for a whole range of reasons. While aquaculture production has grown rapidly with major advances made in knowledge, transitioning this knowledge to recover wild abalone populations is yet to occur.

Jonas Woolford an abalone diver of 20 years from the western zone of South Australia achieved a Nuffield Scholarship in 2017 that enabled him to travel to the world’s major wild harvest abalone countries and explore firsthand the management and governance of the fisheries, their history, the issues and the planned future for these fisheries. He had a particular focus on abalone stock enhancement.

The scholarship saw Jonas travel to New Zealand, Japan, USA - California, Mexico - Baja California and South Africa. He also questioned importers of abalone in Hong Kong to learn their perspectives on reseeded abalone in the market place and visited Florida in the USA to learn from Professors about the fundamentals of fisheries stock enhancement.    


Rowan Yearsley

Rowan Yearsley is the CEO of the vertically-integrated abalone supplier, Aqunion and MD of abalone-feed producer, Marifeed. Aqunion is one of the leading South African abalone farming companies and also processes wild abalone. In addition, the company is currently testing the feasibility of abalone ranching on the Northern Cape coast of South Africa, via subsidiary Diamond Coast Abalone. Rowan was introduced to the abalone industry as a student researcher in 2006 and subsequently joined Aqunion in 2008. At various times he has fulfilled positions of Research & Development Manager, General Manager and CEO and was responsible for Diamond Coast Abalone obtaining a ranching Right. 

Holding a Masters Degree, specialising in aquaculture, from Rhodes University, he has a solid academic base in biological sciences as well as extensive experience in commercial aquaculture operations. He is also a trained commercial diver.