NOAA Fisheries conducted a status review of pinto abalone under the Endangered Species Act in 2014 and found that the species did not warrant listing. Today, pinto abalone is identified as a Species of Concern under the ESA from Sitka, Alaska to Baja California, Mexico.
About the Species
Pinto abalone, Haliotis kamtschatkana, is a species of large sea snail.
Pinto abalone is especially vulnerable to overharvest due to several characteristics. It has a patchy distribution, short larval period, and slow growth. It also has low recruitment that comes in irregular waves. Adults aggregate during spawning. All of these characteristics make the species prone to localized depletion when harvest is concentrated in a given area.
The pinto abalone ranges from Southeast Alaska to Baja California, Mexico.
Conservation and Management
The pinto abalone is currently identified as a "Species of Concern" under the Endangered Species Act. Species of Concern are those species about which we have some concerns regarding status and threats, but for which insufficient information is available to indicate a need to list the species under the ESA.
Beginning in 2011, NOAA Fisheries provided support to partners in Washington State to continue to expand their pinto abalone restoration work. This three-year project addresses multiple objectives to achieve successful restoration of abalone, including monitoring of remaining wild abalone populations; optimizing captive spawning and rearing methods; developing tagging methods for monitoring outplanted abalone; and developing effective outplanting methods. The information generated from this project will be valuable not only for pinto abalone, but for restoration of abalone species throughout the coast. This work is being carried out by several partners, including the Washington Department of fish and Wildlife, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, University of Washington, Western Washington University, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, and Baywater Inc.
- University of Washington Presentation: Restoration Outplants of Juvenile Pinto Abalone (PDF, 31 pages)
- Abalone Restoration and Management in Southern California (PDF, 2 pages)
Key Actions and Documents
2014 - NOAA Fisheries published a Notice of 12-Month Finding and availability of a status review report (79 FR 77998). Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, NOAA Fisheries determined that listing the pinto abalone as threatened or endangered under the ESA was not warranted.
- Status Review Report for Pinto Abalone (PDF, 264 pages)
- Reference List for 12-Month Finding (PDF, 12 pages)
- Poster Summary of the Status Review and Listing Decision (PDF, 1 page) - 2015 Alaska Marine Science Symposium
2013 - NOAA Fisheries announced 90-day findings on two petitions received to list the pinto abalone as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA and to designate critical habitat concurrently with the listing (78 FR 69033). The petitioners identified a number of potential threats to the species, including overfishing, poaching, sea otter predation, and environmental change. NOAA Fisheries found that the petitions and other information presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted.
- Center for Biological Diversity Petition (PDF, 54 pages)
- Natural Resources Defense Council Petition (PDF, 41 pages)
2009 - NOAA Fisheries convened a Species of Concern workshop for abalone on the U.S. West Coast (PDF, 25 pages).
- 2016 Southeast Alaska Pinto Abalone Surveys - Alaska Department of Fish and Game Final Report (PDF, 96 pages)
- Pinto Abalone Recovery - Puget Sound Restoration Fund
- Pinto Abalone - Alaska Department of Fish and Game
- Abalone - California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Alaska Protected Resources Division