Abalone

Survivors of Climate Driven Abalone Mass Mortality Exhibit Declines in Health and Reproduction Following Kelp Forest Collapse

Marine ecosystems are vulnerable to climate driven events such as marine heatwaves yet we have a poor understanding of whether they will collapse or recover. Kelp forests are known to be susceptible, and there has been a rise in sea urchin barrens around the world. When temperatures increase so do physiological demands while food resources decline, tightening metabolic constraints. In this case study, we examine red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) looking at sublethal impacts and their prospects for recovery within kelp forests that have shifted to sea urchin barrens.

Kelp: California's Coastal Forests

Kelp: California's Coastal Forests

Written by Jane Park

Using science to inform the restoration of California’s underwater forests

Kelp forests are underwater forests that support some of the world’s most productive fisheries and unique ecosystems.  Kelp forests occur throughout the world.  California’s kelp forests are particularly unique, as our “redwood forests of the sea” are among the tallest and most productive of the world: Northern California’s “bull kelp” grow an average of 4 in./day and can reach heights over 100 ft. 

For Red Abalone, Resisting Ocean Acidification Starts With Mom

Red abalone mothers from California’s North Coast give their offspring an energy boost when they’re born that helps them better withstand ocean acidification compared to their captive, farmed counterparts, according to a study from the Bodega Marine Laboratory at the University of California, Davis.

Dying Oceans: Abalone Restoration In California

The ocean is a sponge for all the greenhouse gas emissions we produce, and entire aquatic ecosystems are beginning to collapse. Off the coast of California, the disappearing abalone population is raising flags about ocean health and the lasting impact of rising sea temperatures, acidification and pollution. Various teams of scientists, volunteers and businesspeople are collaborating to protect underwater species threatened by the invasion of sea urchins.

No, not because of Fukushima: An Explanation of Northern California’s Red Abalone Decline

 

By Malina Loeher

“Oh, because of Fukushima…” When beachgoers see my abalone shirt and ask about my conservation work, this is the misconception frequently returned to me in northern California. Coastal residents have been harvesting red abalone for hundreds of years, but recent population decline and closure of the last recreational fishery have brought abalone into the public’s eye.

Often I hear, “it’s because of the urchins!” or “climate change, am I right?”

Marine Invertebrate Fisheries and Conservation

Research in the Marine Invertebrate Fisheries and Conservation Lab (resident scientist Laura Rogers-Bennett, Center for Wildlife Health and California Department of Fish and Wildlife) focuses on examining processes which impact marine invertebrate populations and communities then applying these findings to fisheries management and marine conservation issues. Marine invertebrates have become the most important fisheries in California in terms of both volume and value. In 2012, four of the top five fisheries were marine invertebrates.