White Abalone

Nora Frank

  • Husbandry and Data Manager
  • White Abalone Captive Breeding Program
Bodega Marine Laboratory
University of California Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory, PO Box 247, 2099 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay CA 94923

Ultrasounds for Abalone

The world’s abalone are threatened, endangered or otherwise vulnerable in nearly every corner of the planet. While captive breeding efforts are underway for some species, these giant sea snails are notoriously difficult to spawn. If only we could wave a magic wand to know when abalone are ready to reproduce, without even touching them. 

Springtime White Abalone Spawning at Bodega Marine Lab

A Brief History of White Abalone

Once abundant, white abalone were critically overfished in the 1970s. With the remaining wild white abalone so far apart from one another that they were unable to reproduce successfully, experts determined that captive breeding and outplanting were the best ways to save the species. After early breeding efforts were hampered by disease, the program headquarters moved to UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory in 2011.

Saving White Abalone with UC Davis Project Scientist Kristin Aquilino

UC Davis project scientist Kristin Aquilino directs the Bodega Marine Laboratory's white abalone captive breeding program. In this video, she discusses the work she and her colleagues are doing to bring the endangered species back from the brink of extinction. This week marks the first time captive bred white abalone will be released to the ocean in hopes of saving the species.

Alyssa Frederick, Ph.D.

  • Director, White Abalone Captive Breeding Program
  • Bodega Marine Laboratory
  • Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute
Bodega Marine Laboratory
University of California Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory, PO Box 247, 2099 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay CA 94923

Endangered White Abalone Program Yields Biggest Spawning Success Yet

Millions of Eggs Bring Program 1 Step Closer to Saving Species

The Bodega Marine Laboratory’s white abalone program has millions of new additions following its most successful spawning ever at the University of California, Davis, facility. Three out of nine recently collected wild white abalone spawned last week, as did seven of 12 captive-bred white abalone. One wild female was particularly generous, producing 20.5 million eggs herself.