A special thanks to the many divers who have provided my site
(ABALONETEN) with countless pictures and diving information. Without their
ABALONE AND DIVING FOR ABALONE...
(photo on left by Eros Hoagland photo on right by D. Dinucci)
...Double click on images to enlarge...
Answer: Abalone are relatively slow growing. Tagging studies indicate northern California red abalone take about 12 years to reach seven inches, but growth rates are highly variable. Abalone grow nearly one inch per year for the first few years, and much slower after that. It takes about five years for red abalone to grow from seven inches to eight inches. At eight inches, growth rates are so slow it takes about 13 years to grow another inch. Slow growth makes abalone populations vulnerable to overfishing since many years are needed to replace each abalone taken.
Enemies, Parasites, and Other Abalone Problems (other than poachers)
Sea Otters, Fishes, Crabs, Octopuses, Starfish, Parasitic Snails, Parasitic Worms, Boring Clams, Boring Sponges, Pearls, Sea urchins, Commensal Shrimp, and Storm Losses are explained in Keith Cox’s Fish Bulletin No. 118 CDFG.
Abalone sex: An abalone's sex can be distinguished by the color of its gonad; the male's gonad is creamy biege, while the female's is green. The gonads are readily observed after pulling back the foot and epipodium on the right side and looking under the conical appendage...(info taken from California Abalones, Family Haliotidae (1962) Fish Bulletin No. 118 by Keith Cox.............
ABALONE RECIPES click on link (abalone recipes has some awesome recipes)
Above are short videos showing the most common methods of shucking and cleaning abalone...The alternate shucking method removes the top skin of the abalone. This method works well, however, it takes practice to be efficient. The alternate shucking video was provided by Dwayne Dinucci.
When I’m dead and in my grave
No more abalone will I crave
At the top of my tombstone will be seen
“Here lies the body of an abalone diving fiend”
A little bit lower will be inscribed
“He nearly got the big one before he died”
At my funeral the preacher will say
“If it hadn’t been for abalone, he’d be alive today”
My family will be sad, and, they’ll wonder why,
So will my buddies when they come to say good bye
All I can figure, is, God wanted my soul
Cuz I think I located God’s favorite ab hole…
DIVING for ABALONE
DIVING FOR ABALONE: The gathering of abalone for a food source has been going on for thousands of years. The gathering (now called rock picking) still goes on today; however, the sport of free diving (without an air supply) has created abalone diving into an extreme sport. Diving for abalone is not for everyone. One must possess healthy lungs, legs, and a strong mental ability if they are to perform well in their endeavor to hunt the giant red abalone of California. This is truly a sport of inches; legality (7 inch ab) versus trophy hinges on 3 inches and above. Ten inch abalone range from the shallow tidal waters to a depth of 50 feet. Bragging rights, a beautiful shell to display, a few pounds of meat, a rare abalone pearl, a demanding physical challenge, and best of all, a mental victory are the diver's reward.
It's a dangerous sport if one is not prepared for the hunt, but a rewarding endeavor if one is. This is one sport where experience is a key factor. Experience in determining "when to" and "not to" pursue the hunt depends on ocean conditions. This is by far the most important of all factors. Web weather and ocean predictions are abundant and are extremely important in determining the dive. However, these predictions are not always 100% correct. A trained eye is also a must in making the correct call. A large swell, the seconds between swells, and wind causes havoc to a diver. Many inexperienced divers fail to make the correct selection of where or when to dive. Incorrect calls by the inexperienced diver may result in ocean rescues or death. Correct equipment plays a very important role in the divers ability to perform properly in the 46-56 degree waters of northern California. Yes, there are great white sharks in northern California. Know where they hang out and avoid these areas. Shark attacks are rare and should be the least of a diver's concern.
California Fish and Game laws change, so one must be aware that the CF&G rule book published in February may not be valid in October. Also, The Marine Protection Areas are being implemented in 2008 so be aware, legal and safe.
The above link is extremely informative...Suggest high speed internet if you want to view. Very good