Black Abalone Earns 90,000 Protected Acres

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Black Abalone Earns 90,000 Protected Acres

From Center for Biological Diversity, November, 2011

The new designation means the government must prevent destruction of the abalone's protected habitat.

On the outside, it's dark-colored and dull. On the inside, it gleams pink and green and iridescent. It's the black abalone, one of the rarest shellfish in the world -- and it now has a chance to become less rare.

As the result of a March 2010 lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Marine Fisheries Service set aside nearly 90,000 acres of federally protected "critical habitat" for the black abalone, once decimated by overfishing and today threatened by global warming and other dangers. The new designation means the government must prevent destruction of the abalone's protected habitat.

"Numerous threats besiege our coasts -- ocean warming, acidification, pollution -- and have pushed black abalone to the brink of extinction," said Center attorney Catherine Kilduff. "Today's decision will help them and help California's coastal ecosystems at the same time."