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Abalone on the Brink The high cost of being delicious.

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Presentation on theme: "Abalone on the Brink The high cost of being delicious."— Presentation transcript:

1 Abalone on the Brink The high cost of being delicious.

2 Abalone species 56 species world wide Found in both tropical and temperate coastal areas Tropical species are smaller than temperate species Largest abalone is Haliotis rufescens, red abalone found in California

3 Sperm Adult Male Trochophore Adult Female Juvenile Post-larval spat Veliger Egg Fertilized egg Blastula Abalone life cycle

4 Abalone Density and Recruitment

5 Abalone Shell Lin and Meyers, 2004

6 Micro Structure Of Abalone Shell


8 Abalone Shell is sold world wide

9 Abalone Fisheries North America (7 species) Asia (4 or 5 species) Europe (1 species) Australia (2 species) New Zealand (1 species) South Africa (1 species)

10 Abalone Aquaculture North America South America (introduced species) Japan China Thailand Australia South Africa Hawaii Iceland Philippines

11 World Abalone Production (FA0)

12 California Fishery Began in 1850s with Chinese immigrants brought to California to work on railroads Focused around San Francisco and Monterey Intertidal Red Abalone Japanese “Sake Barrel” divers extended the fishery into subtidal depths

13 “Years ago, when the price was fifty cents a dozen, it would not have been worthwhile to bring them in, according to one diver, except for the fact that a man could sit down on a ledge and, without changing his position, fill his basket from a single rock. Now a diver must walk along the bottom and, if fortunate, may fill his basket in half an hour.” Ricketts and Calvin, Between Pacific Tides. 1939. Red Abalone in Monterey Bay

14 Distribution of West Coast Abalone species

15 California species Red Abalone – Haliotis rufescens Pink Abalone – H. corrugata Green Abalone – H. fulgens Black Abalone – H. cracherodii White Abalone – H. sorenseni Northern Abalone H. kamtschatkana Flat Abalone – H. walallensis






21 Red Abalone Fishery at San Miguel Island Proposed fishery at San Miguel Island Initiated by California Abalone Association Cooperative Management similar to Mexican Cooperativos 90-10 Split with Recreational Divers TAC of about 10,000 abalone Minimum Legal Size 8 inches

22 San Miguel Island


24 Positives Stakeholder involvement – Co Managed Cooperative has long term interest in resource Catch shares eliminate “Race to Fish” Spatial Management

25 Negatives Population has not recovered throughout Southern California Densities below MVP of recovery goals CDFG cannot afford to manage, monitor or enforce fishery Recreational component hard to manage, anyone can by a license.

26 Density vs. Nearest-Neighbor Distance

27 Density vs Aggregation Size

28 Endangered Species Act of 1973 The purposes of this Act are to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

29 The term ‘‘critical habitat’’ for a threatened or endangered species means— (i)the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, upon a determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. Critical Habitat

30 Endangered and Threatened Species The term ‘‘endangered species’’ means any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range other than a species of the Class Insecta determined by the Secretary to constitute a pest whose protection under the provisions of this Act would present an overwhelming and overriding risk to man. The term ‘‘threatened species’’ means any species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

31 Interaction of ESA species

32 Marine Species Secretary of Commerce (National Marine Fisheries Service) Except Sea Otters, Polar Bears and Walrus Marine Mammal Protection Act 1972

33 White Abalone, Haliotis sorenseni First Marine Invertebrate listed under ESA Last species described in NA (1940) Deepest living abalone off West Coast Most tender flesh and most desired species May have been landed among pink abalone prior to 1968

34 Background First marine invertebrate to be listed as an endangered species (NMFS 2001) Amount of available habitat in CA & Baja estimated at 966 ha- rough estimate (Davis et al. 1998; Hobday et al. 2001) Culturing attempts successful but enhancement has not been. Found from Point Conception to Punta Abriojos at 24-65 m (Leighton 1972) 1 of 6 abalone spp. fished historically Over 20 yr period decline of 3 orders of magnitude (Davis et al. 1996, 1998) Status declared dire in late 90’s, and Delta sub surveys estimated total number of remaining individuals< 3,000! (Davis et al. 1998; Hobday and Tegner 2000; Lafferty et al. 2004)

35 Survey Methods- available habitat –Mapped by multi-beam sonar (CSUMB seafloor mapping lab; SWFSC) –Detailed bottom contour maps aid in abalone survey site selection and provide an estimate of amount of available habitat –High accuracy (1-2 m resolution!) Tanner Bank

36 Survey Methods- abalone populations –Surveys by means of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and digital video camera High resolution digital still camera for abalone species confirmation –Lasers for abalone size estimates –Tracking system for positional data –Depth sensor for depth distribution data –Speed logger/distance calculator to quantify area surveyed –3 Beam system to measure field of view –All surveys recorded on tape for later review…

37 ROV Operations

38 - White Abalone Pink Abalone -

39 Black Abalone

40 Current Population Status Summary: >50% geographic range in CA severely reduced in abundance

41 Black Abalone Listed endangered under ESA in 2009 Population decline due to disease and elevated sea temperatures Pathogen destroys digestive gland RLP Rickettsiales-like Prokaryote RLO Rickettsiales-like Organism Transmitted by Oral – Fecal Contamination First Mass Mortality at Anacapa Is. 1985, but declines at Palos Verde noted in 1970s

42 Wild Black Abalone +/- WS Red Abalone +/- WS

43 Value of listing species Critical Habitat designation improves chances of recovery Federal Agencies must consult with NMFS concerning any action that impacts habitat NMFS and FWS must monitor listed species and report status every 5 years Funding through NMFS and to States to recover species

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