Search News Releases

Search mode:
"and" "or"
Search in:
Recent News Releases
(Last 30 days)
All News Releases
Emergency Fishing Rule Changes
Sport Fishing Rule Changes
Fish and Shellfish Health Advisories & Closures
Marine Biotoxin Bulletin
Beach closures due to red tide and other marine toxins
Local Fish Consumption Advisories
Health advisories due to contaminants
Fish Facts for Healthy Nutrition
Information on mercury, PCBs and other contaminants in fish
News Releases Archive
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr 
May  Jun  Jul  Aug 
Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 

600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

  Digg it!  StumbleUpon  Reddit

September 30, 2011
Contact: (WDFW) Bob Sizemore, 360-902-2827
(NOAA) Janet Sears, 206-526-6172

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
receives NOAA grant to restore abalone

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has received $560,000 from NOAA Fisheries Service to restore pinto abalone, an edible marine mollusk that lives in the shallow, nearshore waters of the Pacific Northwest.

The grant, awarded through NOAA’s Species of Concern Program, will be used to help restore Puget Sound abalone populations that have fallen to critically low levels.

“This funding is a big step forward for abalone restoration efforts that have been under way for the past decade,” said WDFW Director Phil Anderson. “Our goal is to restore this species to healthy levels.”

Historically, pinto abalone ranged from California to Alaska, but aggressive harvesting in the 1970s and 1980s substantially reduced their numbers. While Washington has never had a commercial fishery for abalone, recreational divers harvested them in large numbers until the fishery was closed in 1994.

NOAA declared pinto abalone a “species of concern” in 2004 because their numbers had fallen to critically low levels.

Bob Sizemore, a WDFW research scientist, said the NOAA grant will support hatchery and nursery programs to foster a self-sustaining population and preserve species diversity in Puget Sound. The grant will also pay to congregate abalone to foster reproduction.

“Abalone are ‘broadcast spawners,’ which means they need to be close together for successful breeding,” Sizemore said. “The remaining abalone in this population are widely dispersed and are not able to reproduce in the wild.”

The NOAA grant is part of a collaborative effort with WDFW, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, University of Washington, Western Washington University and others to help prevent the species from declining to the point where it needs legal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

“This effort is a great example of regional partners working together to help preempt a species’ listing,” said Will Stelle, head of the federal fisheries agency’s Northwest regional office in Seattle. “We’re pleased the NOAA grant will help facilitate this necessary work. Ecosystem restoration is about more than just managing flippers and fins. Invertebrates, like abalone, play a key role in maintaining rocky marine habitats.”