July 12, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Where are the Abalone?

Bringing back Abalone to West Coast waters. 

By Brianna Kwasnik

There was once a time on the Westside when you could go into a restaurant and likely find abalone on the menu. Because they tasted so good, however, abalone was doomed from the beginning, overharvested and for the last 30 years, their numbers have been on the decline.

Abalone, a common name for a group of small to very large sea snails is native to the waters of Southern California. The Santa Monica Bay was once thriving with seven different species: red, pink, green, white, black, pinto and flat. However, according to The Bay Foundation, due to severe over-harvesting and a disease called withering syndrome, the species have been on the decline since the late 90’s.

The abalone have a vital role in the marine ecosystem, as they have predators that feed off them. They are herbivores and feed off drift algae, which frees up space for other types of algae to live in the reefs, researcher and Cal State Fullerton graduate student, Marissa Velarde Wu said.

Marine Biologist Nancy Caruso works with large green abalone and out-planting them to restore their numbers.

“Abalone was as iconic [in Southern California] as lobster is in Maine, so you could get them in virtually every restaurant in a beach town,” Caruso said on KPCC’s “Take Two” podcast. “They taste really good, so they were doomed as soon as humans started liking them.” 

The Bay Foundation is an organization that has been actively working to restore the abalone to the Santa Monica Bay since 2010. This work includes scientific monitoring, extensive research, deck spawning and outplanting.

People used to go down to the tide to collect them recreationally to barbecue. The shells have also commonly been used for decoration or using the mother of pearl found inside the shell for jewelry, art pieces or fishing hooks.

They may not look like what you would typically think of when you think of a snail. The shell of the abalone varies depending on the species. Their shape can be oval or round, highly arched or flat.

According to the Fish and Game Code, in the state of California, is illegal to take, possess, or land abalone for commercial or recreational purposes. Fishing licenses for abalone are reserved for researchers or aquaculturists intending to collect abalone for broodstock.

You may still find abalone listed on a seafood menu, as there are aquaculture farms in the area that provide it to restaurants.

“Overall, it’s a good idea to know where your seafood comes from,”  Velarde Wu said. “If you see red abalone in a tank and they’re selling them, find out where it comes from. As a consumer, you’re allowed to ask these things.”

Related Posts

A new way to say Thank You to healthcare workers: Westside Beat – July, 9, 2020

July 9, 2020

July 9, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * A new way to say Thank You to healthcare workers. *...

Edify TV: Veterans Row

July 9, 2020

July 9, 2020

“It’s really devastating. We Veterans serve in this country and this is what we get,” says a U.S. Army Veteran...

Fatal Collision Occurs in Culver City

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

By Staff Writer A fatal traffic collision occurred in Culver City Tuesday morning in which police believe that alcohol may...

Video: Santa Monica Mask Fines

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

The City of Santa Monica has authorized fines of up to $1,000 for failing to wear a mask. Learn more...

New mixed use development coming to Palms! Westside Beat – July, 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * New mixed use development coming to Palms! *Covid-19 surge creates hospital...

Man Arrested for Stabbing Culver City Mosque Security Guard

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

Man attempts to enter Culver City mosque, stabs security guard By Sam Catanzaro Police have arrested a man for stabbing...

Westside Sees Unhealthy Air Quality After Fireworks

July 5, 2020

July 5, 2020

Fireworks continue in LA County despite ban By Sam Catanzaro Air quality throughout most of Los Angeles County ranged from...

Culver City Arson Suspect Arrested Two Days in a Row

July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

Culver City Police Department (CCPD) same person two days in a row By Sam Catanzaro Culver City police arrested the...

COVID-19 Outbreak at Culver City Police Department

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Multiple CCPD officers test positive for COVID-19 By Sam Catanzaro The Culver City Police Department (CCPD) has announced an outbreak...

LA city council cuts LAPD budget by $150 million: Westside Beat – July, 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Police search for suspects in road rage stabbing. * LA city...

Newsom Orders Indoor Dining Close in LA

July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020

Earlier this week Los Angeles County’s public health director said that almost half of restaurants and bars were not following...

Man Sought Who Aimed Gun at Women at Westfield Culver City

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Man aims gun at two women, lead police on chase that ends in crash By Staff Writer Police continue a...

Video: West Los Angeles VA Tent Row

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

What is the deal with the row of tents outside the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus? Learn more in...

LA Health cracks down on bars and restaurants: Westside Beat – June, 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * New development coming to Washington blvd. * LA Health cracks down...

County Reports Nearly 3,000 Coronavirus Cases, Highest Single-Day Tally

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

One in every 140 people in the county has the virus and is infectious, say LA County health officials By...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *