Critter News: Northern Abalone

Pinto abalone

Pinto abalone (AKA: Northern abalone), Haliotis Kamtschatkana, have been installed in their own exhibit in Puget Sound Fish. This species is the only abalone native to the Northwest. Never commercially fished, the recreational fishery for them was closed in 1994 because of over-harvesting. Our abalone came to us from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and range in age from about 3 to 10 years or so. These kelp feeders have powerful radula that they use to feed on kelp and other algae. Besides humans, their primary predator is the Northern sea otter.

Pinto abalone 2Pinto abalone 3


These spawning mollusks need to live in groups for successful reproduction, but their low numbers have kept most of the wild survivors separated. The SeaDoc Society is working with the University of Washington to study their genetics (there may actually be two species) and also with Canadian organizations to manage the wild populations.

Come see the new abalones at the Aquarium!

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3 Responses to Critter News: Northern Abalone

  1. orainab says:

    hi how are you . i am sending email from iran . i like to visit seatlle very much but i cannot come so i search for that in google and i could see too much good , interesting and surprising things from there . so i am thankful for this information and your pictures . i wish that one day it happens and i see your city . thanks for all .
    orainab ayoubi

  2. Giuseppe says:

    Book-marked, I love your blog! 🙂

  3. H abdulhaqq says:

    I just bought a live pinto abalone from an aquaculture vendor at a farm market in San Francisco – he is beautiful and he looks at me with his weird eyes, like he’s trying to figure me out. He’s in my coldwater marine aquarium now. To cool for sushi until I know him and his kind better. What an ancient looking creature to study.

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