One of the largest abalone ever caught, weighing nearly three kilograms, was harvested off Port Lincoln recently.
Diver Greg Pickering, who is based in Perth but lives in Port Lincoln during abalone season, said the greenlip abalone was the largest he had caught in his nearly 40-year career.
The Abalone Wars star was diving for abalone near Thorny Passage when he spotted the enormous mollusc.
“I was catching big ones, it didn’t strike me as the biggest I’d ever caught,” Mr Pickering said.
But the meat weighed in at 1068 grams.
The largest abalone ever caught in the region, and possibly the world, was caught by Western Abalone general manager Kane Williams, with the meat weighing more than 1.2kg and the total abalone weighing more than 3.5kg.
Mr Williams said they were the only two abalone with a meat weight of more than 1kg in Western Abalone’s 36 years of operation.
Mr Williams said Mr Pickering’s abalone was one of the largest in the world.
“For a greenlip, no doubt (it’s one of the biggest), and among all species of abs it would have to be up there.”
Mr Williams said it was hard to put a price on the abalone but it would easily fetch hundreds of dollars.
“The prestige of owning one of the largest abalone in the world is hard to put a price on,” Mr Williams said.
Mr Pickering said on the day he was catching “enormous” 500 to 650 gram meat weight abalone, which were also bigger than normal.
“Abalone weighing more than 400 grams (in meat weight) are not common,” Mr Pickering said.
He said abalone weighing between 227 grams and 300 grams were fairly common but he estimated only about three to five per cent of abalone caught weighed more than 400 grams.
“Only specialist divers get the big abalone,” Mr Pickering said.