White abalone

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The White abalone, scientific name Haliotis sorenseni, is a species of large, edible, sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Haliotidae, the abalones.

The white abalone is an endangered species in the United States; it may now have the smallest population of all eight of the abalone species on the west coast of North America.


thumb|left|A map of the distribution of the White abalone, Haliotis sorenseni

Historically the white abalone ranged from Point Conception, California to Baja California, Mexico, and was found especially on the offshore islands.

In the most northerly part of the California range, white abalone were reported as being more common along the mainland coast. However, in the middle portion of the California range, they were noted to occur more frequently at the offshore islands, especially San Clemente and Santa Catalina Islands. At the more southerly end of the range, in Baja California, Mexico, white abalone were reported to occur more commonly along the mainland coast, but were also found at a number of islands including Isla Cedros and Isla Natividad.

It remains unknown whether this distribution pattern was a result of lack of suitable habitat along the mainland coast in the mid portion of the range, or was instead due to overfishing in these more accessible mainland regions.

Since the mid-1990s, extremely low numbers of...
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