Abalone - Pacific Region

Photo: Northern abalone

Northern abalone

Protect Abalone

The entire coast of British Columbia is CLOSED to the harvest of abalone due to serious conservation concerns. Help stop the illegal harvest and sale of abalone - report violations to 1-800-465-4336.

The northern or pinto abalone has been declining in numbers and distribution in surveyed areas of coastal British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, as documented by regular surveys since the late 1970s. The northern abalone fisheries in B.C. were closed to all harvest in 1990 to protect the remaining population. Despite the complete ban on harvest, the population continued to decline and showed no sign of recovery. As a result, northern abalone were assigned a threatened status by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in April 1999. In June 2003, northern abalone were legally listed and protected as threatened under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). COSEWIC re-assessed Northern abalone in 2009 and designated the species as Endangered because there had been little or no recovery of the wild abalone population, particularly the larger reproductive animals. The species was up-listed to Endangered under SARA in 2011.

Illegal harvest and low recruitment are the most significant threats to the northern abalone, affecting both the recovery capacity and the reproductive abilities of the species.


Media and publications


If you have any concerns regarding Abalone, or would like further information, please contact sara@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Links to Abalone Conservation

Image: Protect abalone