Northern abalone
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Northern abalone, Sebastes ruberrimus

Northern abalone or pinto abalone, are gastropods found on rocks in thick kelp beds along the Pacific coast from Southeast Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. The genus name, Haliotis, means sea ear because of the flat oblong shape of their shells. Northerns are the smallest abalone, reaching only six inches in diameter. They mature slowly, live in shallow water, and are easy prey for sea otters and humans. Since the mid-1970s their population has fallen into such precipitous decline because of commercial and recreational over-harvesting that they have been declared a threatened species on the Endangered Species Act.

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