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Abalone: Gardeners of the Kelp Forest

December 16, 2020

David Witting, NOAA’s Restoration Center in Long Beach, CA

We will learn more about abalone, a group of large snails that live in kelp forest habitats around the world. These humble snails “garden” the kelp forest and ensure there is space for the other plants and animals living there. For thousands of years, people living on the California Coast have harvested this beautiful animal and we will explore how they were used for food, tools, jewelry, and cultural ceremonies. We will end by looking at the status of abalone today, with 2 species on the endangered species list and the others in such low numbers they can no longer be fished. We will learn how NOAA and its dedicated partners are teaming up to save this important animal.

Resources to access at home:

» Aquarium of the Pacific kids song/video: “I Love Abalone”
» NOAA Fisheries Feature Story: “Divers Release Endangered Abalone into the Wild for First Time, Boosting Odds of Recovery
» NOAA Fisheries Feature Story: “White Abalone: Why You Should Care About This Critter”
» NOAA white abalone “Species in the Spotlight” video