Stewardship Overview: Oxytetracycline has been shown to effectively eliminate rickettsial infections and depletion occurred over a prolonged period providing protection to rickettsial challenge in abalone with a mean of over 72 ppm in digestive tissue (Friedman et al., 2007). The White Abalone Restoration Consortium developed a four-step restoration plan: (1) locate surviving white abalone by surveying historical habitat; (2) collect brood stock; (3) breed and rear a new generation of juveniles and ultimately, brood stock; and (4) reestablish refugia of self-sustaining brood stocks in the wild.
The commercial and recreational fishery in California was closed on March 1, 1996. A captive breeding program is in place at Proteus SeaFarms in Oxnard, California, but so far they only have males. It is not known if Mexico has taken any protection measures (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2000). Prior to the listing of white abalone under the ESA, the State of California closed the white abalone fishery in 1996 and subsequently closed all abalone fisheries in central and southern California in 1997. Measures taken during the late 1970s and 1980s to regulate the abalone fishery included prohibiting fishing during a portion of the spawning season, bag limits for recreational fishermen, limited entry, and permit fees. The white abalone was designated as a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1997 for the California region south to Baja California, Mexico. In August 1998, NMFS initiated a review of the biological status of white abalone. A petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to list the white abalone as endangered and designate critical habitat was received on April 29, 1999, and a subsequent petition from the Marine Conservation Biology Institute was received on May 15, 1999. A finding that the petitioned action was warranted was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 1999. NMFS completed its status review of the species in March of 2000. NMFS published aproposed rule to list the white abalone as endangered on May 5, 2000. NMFS published afinal rule listing the white abalone as an endangered species on May 29, 2001. The white abalone is the only mollusk listed under the ESA by NMFS.