Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pinto Abalone

Pinto Abalone, aka Northern Abalone, (Halitotis kamtschatkana) is a charismatic invertebrate that at one time thrived along the rocky shores and kelp beds of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. They are archaeogastropods, meaning they are a more ancient species of gastropods than neogastropods. Over time, due to over harvesting, we have seen a steady decline in our lovable mollusks. Over harvesting has made it difficult for the abalone to regenerate because they require densely populated areas to reproduce. (They cannot be more than a few feet apart during reproduction times or else the gametes will not meet.) Much research is being done by people like Jordan Watson, a friend of PTMSC, to discover what the specific mating requirements are for abalone. Pinto Abalone is the only known species found in Washington State and while there has never been a commercial fishery for it, recreational fishing for abalone has been illegal since 1994.

We are lucky to have abalone in our Marine Exhibit Tanks! Watch this video to see some of our abalone in action!

video

You can help our local abalone populations:
-Do not disturb or remove pinto abalone, even for a good picture!
-Anonymously report poachers to 1 (877) 933-9847.
-Share this information with friends, family and community members.
-Report abalone sightings at http://www.reef.org/
-Learn more at http://www.pintoabalone.org/

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