White abalone are on the brink of extinction. These animals, once prized for their delicate meat and beautiful shells, now exist at 1% of their historical estimated populations in the United States.
1. Population decline due to overfishing
After abalone fishing became popular in the mid 1900s, fishers discovered white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni) had the most tender meat. A sudden influx of white abalone fishing in the 1970s decimated the white abalone and isolated populations have since been dying out.