If you were to Google “Abalone” you would find many sites that discuss how threatened this Mollusk is or what amazing recipes that can be used for cooking these little guys up. So, I thought I would include some interesting facts about what is happening and maybe, just maybe you will get in there and help protect these guys.
Firstly, here are some facts about the Abalone;
sexes are separate;
they broadcast spawn, with the release of 10,000 eggs or more;
eggs hatch as microscopic living larvae. it drifts with currents for about a week then the abalone larvae settle to bottom, if suitable habitat is located it may grow to adulthood, mortality still probably exceeds 99%; and
predators, eggs, and larvae are eaten by filter feeding animals, juveniles are threatened by crabs, lobsters, octopi, starfish, fish and predatory snails, while larger adult abalone predators are fish such as the Cabezon, bat rays, and sea otters
In the last 20 years, the commercial catch of abalone worldwide has declined from 18,000mt to a little over 10, 000mt. Below are listed 6 major reasons for the decline. Number 5 (Illegal harvesting) is by far the largest and most important reason for the decline.
Mortality of small abalone
Competition, Sea urchins and other species, utilizing abalone food and living space
Loss of habitat
Here is an exert from the Times Colonist discussing in-depth Illegal Harvesting, so be sure to take a read it is very interesting!
Poachers biggest threat to endangered abalone
DFO asks for the public’s help in watching for suspicious divers
By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist. March 20, 2010
The wetsuited killers often hang out in rocky inlets or deserted beaches, where there are few witnesses, but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is hoping eagle-eyed observers will help stop the destruction of a species. Read More
UWE has added the Ray & Skate section to the Marine Life of the Sea of Cortez. In this section currently has about 15 – 25 secs of footage of a Bulls-eyed Electric Ray. The footage is very clear and we got up close so you could see the markings of this magnificent animal. We will be adding more footage of rays, as well as some Green Moray eel footage over the next couple of days so be sure to stop back and check it out!!
UWE has finally completed the The Drowning Woman video and interview with Jo Harrison tattoo artist after we worked on the video pieces she wanted to use to help draw the tattoo she is working on. I was lucky enough to see the image she had drew from the video for the tattoo. I have to say it was amazing. She has promised UWE would get to see the finished tattoo. Be sure to check back as we will be putting the pictures up on the website
UW Explorers were asked to give a video presentation of Diving in the Sea of Cortez. So, we got hard at it…and then decided to make a comparison in some of the declarations which were made by Jacque Cousteau. He had made reference to the Sea of Cortez and what a premier dive areas, as he had concerning Scuba Diving in the Pacific Northwest. So we not only did made a presentation for the Sea of Cortez, we put together one of my favourite dives I have in the Pacific Northwest. We hope you enjoy!!
Jo Harrison from Modern Body Art in the UK is vacationing down here in the Baja currently and our paths happened to cross. It turns out, I was looking to get a couple of Tattoos done, and she was looking to get some video or pictures done to help in her drawings for the tattoo she is working on for Matt. Thus The Drowning Woman was begun.
So Jo, Matt Susanne and I (UWE) headed out into the Sea of Cortez today in order to get some footage of what was to appear like a woman who has just drowned…and she is floating out into the depths….arms out stretched resigned to her fate. Susanne was on the bottom with Jo with a regulator ready for her when it was needed, and it was on a 7 foot hose so there was plenty to play with if needed. Matt was snorkeling on the surface passing along advice for angles for the shoot…and Jo was the model.
We are working on a short movie explaining everything Jo and Matt are hoping to achieve….so stay tuned that will hopefully be out to view in the next few days. I do have a couple of awesome images of Jo doing her thing….I hope you enjoy!!
UWE has been work expand their downloads section and have just added two new down load files as well as a new category. We have added the users manual for the Azimuth users manual. Once again this is not a substitute for the proper training and training manual.
We have also added the download category for the footage that is shot by the divers from Uw Explorers. Though all of our footage is HD, these downloads are down in the compressed MP4 formate which makes them smaller and easier to download.