Type Status Location Last Updated
This Advice message is being issued for Cape Bridgewater and Cape Nelson areas.
  • An outbreak of Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis has been detected in wild abalone in the state’s south-west. 
  • This warning is relevant for recreational and commercial fishers, boaters and divers. 
 What you need to know about AVG 
  • AVG is a viral disease which affects the nervous system of abalone and results in curling of the foot, swelling of the mouth, leading to weakness and death of abalone. 
  • The southern boundary of the Control Area has been contracted to approximately 40-metre depth to facilitate commercial and recreational fishing. 
  • The eastern boundary has also been adjusted to align with the Cape Grant landmark. 
  • The Control Area spans from about a kilometre west of Cape Bridgewater Lookout to Cape Grant area in the east. Discovery Bay and from Cape Grant through to Narrawong (including Portland) are not included in the Control Area, and are open to fishing, diving, snorkelling and boating. 
  • A precautionary Fisheries Notice remains in place which restricts fishing, boating and diving 500 metres around the aquaculture farm near Narrawong. The disease has not been detected on any Victorian Aquaculture sites. For more information, visit the VFA website
  • There is no known health risk. Abalone is still safe for human consumption.
AVG is a notifiable disease. If any divers suspect AVG in abalone, please report it immediately to the 24-hour Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.
What you should do:
  • Follow the Control Orders. 
  • In the Control Area, you can take your boat out or through (provided you do not anchor), fish with a line without a sinker, swim, surf or paddleboard.
  • In the Control Area, you can’t fish from shore or boat using sinkers, use weighted commercial fishing or abalone equipment, use hoop nets, bait traps, hauling nets and abalone levers for recreational fishing. Line fishing without a sinker attached is allowed in the control area.
  • All abalone, rock lobsters, sea urchins and other aquatic invertebrates can’t be collected, whether live or dead. Boats, vessels and fishing equipment cannot be anchored in the Control Area, however a vessel can move through the area provided it does not stop. Any movement of abalone out of the Control Area must have a permit. Diving is also prohibited in the control area.
  • If you think someone has contravened the control order, you can ring the Fisheries offence reporting line on 133 474 (13 FISH).

    Signs of the disease in abalone may include:
    A swollen mouth with or without a protruding inner mouth part and a curled footpad. Affected abalone displaying disease symptoms die.

  • How AVG spreads:
    How AVG can spread through the water from infected abalone or abalone product (offal, shells or mucus), fishing equipment (including wetsuits, anchors, rock lobster pots and ropes) and via people who have come into contact with infected abalone or bottom habitat.

To help prevent the spread of disease you should:
  • Follow the restrictions in the Control Area which have been put in place to stop the possible transfer of the disease by human activity to abalone in other Victorian waters currently not affected.
  • Ensure good hygiene practices in and out of the water to stop the spread of aquatic diseases and marine pests, including washing fishing equipment, wet suits, dive equipment and vessels.

    Protecting your health:
    There are no risks to human health.
This message was issued by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Victoria.

The next update is expected by 20/09/2021 12:00 pm or as the situation changes.

Use multiple sources to stay informed: 
Accessibility: 
The following services can help you, or someone you know, access information during an emergency. 
  • To access this information in other languages call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to call VicEmergency Hotline.   
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment contact National Relay Service on 1800 555 677 and ask them to call the VicEmergency Hotline.