Port Lincoln diver discovers 1kg abalone

A Port Lincoln abalone diver came across a rare find in local waters, finding an abalone about five times bigger than average.

Tyronne Craig was diving for abalone at The Passage, about 25 kilometres south of Port Lincoln on February 26 when he came across the large greenlip abalone.

The large abalone had been weighed at 1.036kg with a 230mm long shell, nearly 100mm more than the minimum legal length.

Mr Craig said he had been diving since 2008 and this was the largest abalone he had come across.

"I saw it pretty early on, I chipped a few abs off and then I came to that one, prying it off the rock," he said.

"I put it in the back of the cage rather than in the bag and kept pulling it out every now and again."

LARGE: Tyronne Craig with his greenlip abalone shortly after his dive. Photo: supplied

LARGE: Tyronne Craig with his greenlip abalone shortly after his dive. Photo: supplied

Mr Craig said he kept the abalone out of the bag in case it got lost or its shell would crack.

After getting out of the water Mr Craig took his catch, including his large find to Western Abalone, and said it was unlikely he would find one of this size again.

Western Abalone general manager Kane Williams this was one of three one kilogram abalone caught in the last three years, the other two being caught by himself and Greg Pickering.

He said it was believed this abalone would have been about 15 to 20 years old, and was about four to five times the size of an average Australian greenlip abalone.

"This sort of greenlip abalone wouldn't be caught anywhere else in the world," he said.

This year the abalone season began on January 1 and the season will continue until September 30.

Mr Williams said while the weather had posed a challenge but when boats had gone out they had done well.

"The fleet is well positioned as far as catching the quota in time," he said.