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White Abalone, What Turns You On?

To save endangered white abalone, scientists are working to breed them in captivity. But first they have to figure out how to turn white abalone on.

By Rich Press, NOAA Fisheries Science Writer | Posted: August 10, 2015
Follow Rich on Twitter: @Rich_NOAAFish

Kristin Aquilino and a white abalone at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab, where Aquilino heads the white abalone captive breeding program. Credit: Shauna Byron.

Imagine New England without lobster, or the Chesapeake Bay without blue crabs. Well, in California, abalone is an iconic local seafood. Unfortunately, this tasty mollusk has become scarce, mainly due to past decades of overfishing. The most prized of the abalones, the white abalone, is listed as endangered, and scientists from NOAA Fisheries and elsewhere are working to bring them back from the brink.

One of those scientists is Kristin Aquilino, who runs the white abalone captive breeding program at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay, California.

In this podcast, Aquilino describes the challenges of getting white abalone to breed in captivity. The biggest challenge: figuring out what turns them on.

Learn More

White Abalone (Haliotis sorenseni)

White Abalone Background, Policy, and Resources

Partnerships and innovation contributing to recovery of West Coast abalone populations

Population Monitoring of the Endangered White Abalone

In addition to NOAA Fisheries and the UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab, partners include The Aquarium of the Pacific, Cabrillo Aquarium, The Puget Sound Restoration Fund, The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, The Bay Foundation, SEALab, The California Science Center, and The Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe).

Transcript: White Abalone, What Turns You On?

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