Abalone is the common name for a variety of marine snails that are found throughout the world’s oceans. Sought after for their meat and their beautiful shells, populations have declined rapidly and some species are now critically endangered. Our relationship with abalone illustrates the challenges of overexploitation of the marine environment. Until the 1980’s, it was widely thought that abalone populations were resilient and could effectively rebound from harvesting activities. Unfortunately, that has not proven to be true.
Abalone are “broadcast spawners,” meaning that two individuals must be within three feet of one another to sexually reproduce. This type of reproduction makes population recovery very challenging, driving the need for humans to intervene. Marine biologist Nancy Caruso is doing just that, and founded Get Inspired, a non-profit organization that specializes in marine conservation & education.
Besides physically growing juvenile abalone along California’s coast and populating them back into the coastal kelp forest marine habitat, Nancy recognizes that protecting the ocean in the future requires educating children today. That is why she has launched a 10 year initiative to grow 100,000 abalone in classrooms across the golden state and restore them along the southern California coast, inspiring and utilizing the help of the next generation of scientists along the way. 10% of profits from your purchase will be donated to this restoration effort.