Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Abalones, orgies, and conservation

Who likes slugs and snails? You do, when they're in the ocean, because they're called abalone. Abalone are cute and yummy, they're everyone's favorite ocean snail.

Now where does the orgy part come in? Abalone need orgies to reproduce, a pas de deux just won't do. Maybe counseling would help, but for now we need to find a way to reignite abalone orgies if we want them to survive.

So it's time to study abalone orgies. Here's a photo (right) of the high point of an abalone orgy, at least for the guys. It's a close up of a male abalone in flagrante delicto. Don't worry, this is science not porn, it even says so at the top of the picture.

The trouble for abalone comes from one main source, that bit about them being yummy. Sea otters eat them, but they can't do the damage that we humans can do. People slaughter abalone and we've driven many into deep decline.

Here in Washington (the real Washington out west) we have a problem with our pinto abalone. We ate them up, and now we're crying about it. Boo-hoo, what can we do?

Abalone need to get together in orgies to spawn, and we've spoiled their fun and success by eating so many that they can't orgy very well. So now we're in the business of orgy-making for an ocean snail. Life is strange.

Oh, BTW, there are some other nice ocean snails, so I guess I should say that abalone are one of the favorite ocean snails.

2 comments:

Eric Heupel said...

So what exactly does one call the facilitator of abalone orgies?

And what educational and, erm... life experiences are required to become a professional?

Ed said...

Mark, you may want to explore the California Abalone Recovery Management Plan. (ARMP) This approach to abalone management has been extremely successful. We are actually seeing too many red abalone and harvest will actually be very beneficial for the health of the fishery.

All the Best -ED