Pinto abalone satellite nursery

Status: current

May 23, 2018 - ongoing

Project summary:

Each year hundreds of tiny endangered pinto abalone arrive at PTMSC’s aquarium where they spend the next year growing under our watchful care before being released.

Raising pinto abalone at PTMSC

The Salish Sea was once home to a thriving population of pinto or northern abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana). These large marine snails greatly increased the health of the nearshore rocky reef habitats as they went about grazing algae. Valued by Coast Salish peoples for their meat and shell, they were sustainably gathered for centuries. They could not however, withstand the huge increase in recreational fisheries and harvest made possible by scuba technology. Overharvesting and poaching quickly decimated their population, leaving them too far apart to successfully recover without help.   

Collaborative recovery efforts are underway, making a real difference. Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and partners like PTMSC are restoring pinto abalone populations by raising hatchery abalone and releasing them back into the Salish Sea.


Lecture – Recovering pinto abalone – Josh Bouma

“Recovering Pinto Abalone: use of conservation aquaculture to give the Salish Sea’s largest rocky-reef cleaning marine snail a population boost”

Lecture presented on January 22, 2023 by Josh Bouma, Abalone Program Director, Puget Sound Restoration Fund.

Racing to Restore Endangered Abalone (Salish Sea Wild)

Go behind-the-scenes of a remarkable project to bring endangered pinto abalone back from functional extinction. We visit the ab lab and then dive in to help release a new generation of thoroughbred pintos into the wild.

Produced by Bob Friel and the SeaDoc Society. Hosted by Joe Gaydos.


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