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White Abalone Recovery Plan Developed by NOAA

Scientists to Restore Existing Populations, Seed Potential Habitats


Friday, October 24, 2008

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service has completed a plan for the recovery of the endangered marine mollusk known as white abalone.

The plan aims to protect the species and increasingly populate regions along the California coast with white abalone. It is required by the Endangered Species Act, which labeled white abalone as an endangered species in 2001.

The ultimate goal of the plan is to establish self-sustaining populations of the animal. NOAA scientists will closely monitor white abalone, mainly along the California and Mexico coasts. The plan also aims to “identify and characterize existing and potential white abalone habitat through acoustic remote sensing technology,” according to the White Abalone Recovery Plan executive summary. Field surveys will result in a clearer understanding of requirements for the species’ ideal habitat. Additionally, the NOAA hopes to free more white abalone into the wild by further developing their captive program.

Through these actions, the NOAA expects a progressively increasing population of the endangered white abalone along the Californian and Mexico coasts.

Hannah Rothman in an Independent intern.