Navy and NOAA Fisheries Sign Historic Agreement for White Abalone Recovery

July 06, 2016

White abalone

White abalone, a NOAA Fisheries Species in the Spotlight. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

Today, the U.S. Navy signed an agreement with NOAA Fisheries that will provide over $2.1 million in total funding to support core research and survey needs for endangered white abalone at Tanner and Cortes Banks and throughout Southern California.

White abalone is one of NOAA Fisheries’ Species in the Spotlight, an agency initiative to highlight eight species most at risk of extinction in the near future and to focus efforts for their recovery. This species is a highly endangered marine mollusk that has undergone serious depletion from past decades of overharvest along the West Coast of the United States.

White abalone play an important ecological role in the resiliency of our marine ecosystems by helping to stabilize subtidal kelp forests and rocky reefs.

“This targeted commitment by the Navy is right in line with our Species in the Spotlight initiative,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, “because it will enable NOAA and its partners to make scientific strides in our understanding of the species and improve our ability to recover the white abalone populations in the wild.”

Achieving recovery and conservation goals for white abalone depends on the ability of NOAA Fisheries and its partners to continue laboratory and field research. This research will allow NOAA Fisheries to better understand the status and life history of wild populations and to design an effective strategy for monitoring wild and outplanted white abalone.