Haliotis kamtschatkana Jonas, 1845

(Haliotis hamtschatkana)
(Haliotis hamtschatkana)


Common Name:
Pinto Abalone, Northern Abalone, Japanese Abalone
100-150mm, upto 175mm.
Exterior of shell lumpy or wavy and mottled greenish and brown. Shell thin. Interior white with no prominent internal muscle scar. 3-6 open holes with raised edges.
Alaska to Point Conception, California. Also northern Japan and Siberia.
H. kamtschatkana lives on rocks and kelp to a depth of 50ft (15m), where it grazes on algae and kelp. It prefers more exposed areas, but has been found in protected areas. Found intertidally in the northern part of its range, strictly subtidal farther south.
This is the only abalone likely to be found north of Oregon. It is a favored food of the sea otter. This is also one of the many species of invertebrates that produces a rapid escape response when confronted by a predatory starfish. A generally smaller species, H. walallensis, may be encountered in B.C. as well; the brick red exterior of that species has low ribs crossed by fine raised striations. Its interior is also more greenish than that of H. kamtschatkana.
It is ILLEGAL TO HARVEST abalone here on the west coast. This species has been listed as "threatened" as of April 1999. "A patchily distributed marine mollusc found along the west coast. Highly prized for harvesting, it continues to decline since complete closure of the fishery in 1990, probably as a result of continued high levels of poaching. There is evidence that the decline and fragmentation of the population are impairing the reproductive ability of the species even though there persists a reservoir of reproductive adults"(COSEWIC Web site, see link below).
COSEWIC - Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Abalone Here and Now - Pacific Region

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