Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Lack of recovery symptoms of an endangered and harvested mollusc in the last 20 years

  • Rodrigo Riera (a1), Rogelio Herrera (a2), Óscar Pérez (a1), Mateo J. Garrido (a2), Omar Álvarez (a1), Óscar Monterroso (a1) and Jorge Núñez (a3)...

Molluscs are subjected to intense harvesting in many areas around the world. Conservation measures have been developed to preserve populations of an overexploited gastropod species, the abalone Haliotis tuberculata coccinea. This species was surveyed in subtidal localities throughout coastal Tenerife, Canary Islands over the last two decades (1994–2014). A clear indicator of non-recovery was observed in the decrease of mean size throughout the last two decades, even after the inclusion of this species in the Regional Catalogue of Endangered Species. The mean size of abalones decreased from 33.5 mm (1994) to 28–29 mm (2002 and 2014), corresponding to sub-adult individuals. The structure of size classes was typical of an overexploited species, with reduced occurrence of large individuals (>50 mm). Several factors might explain this pattern such as illegal harvesting, proliferation of featureless benthos and a decrease of suitable habitats for colonization and settlement. Complementary conservation actions are urgently needed to preserve this species in the area studied.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: R. Riera, Centro de Investigaciones Medioambientales del Atlántico, 38107 SC de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M.W. Beck , R.D. Brumbaugh , L. Airoldi , A. Carranza , L.D. Coen , C. Crawford , O. Defeo , G.J. Edgar , B. Hancock , M.C. Kay , H.S. Lenihan , M.W. Luckenbach , C.L. Toropova , G. Zhang , and X. Guo (2011) Oyster reefs at risk and recommendations for conservation and restoration and management. Bioscience 61, 107116.

A. Bilbao , V. Tuset , M. Viera , G. Courtois de Vicose , H. Fernandez-Palacios , R. Haroun and M. Izquierdo (2010) Reproduction, fecundity and growth of abalone (Haliotis turberculata coccinea, Reeve 1846) in the Canary Islands. Journal of Shellfish Research 29, 959967.

M.A. Coleman , A.J. Underwood and L. Benedetti-Cecchi , P. Aberg , F. Arenas , J. Arrontes , J. Castro , R.G. Hartnoll , S.R. Jenkins , J. Paula , P. Della-Santina , and S.J. Hawkins (2006) A continental scale evaluation of the role of limpet grazing on rocky shores. Oecologia 147, 556564.

G. Courtois de Viçose , M.P. Viera , A. Bilbao , and M.S. Izquierdo (2007) Embryonic and larval development of Haliotis tuberculata coccinea Reeve: an indexed micro-photographic sequence. Journal of Shellfish Research 26, 847854.

G. Courtois de Viçose , M.P. Viera , S. Huchette and M.S. Izquierdo (2012) Larval settlement, early growth and survival of Haliotis tuberculata coccinea using several algal cues. Journal of Shellfish Research 31, 11891198.

K.M. Gruenthal and R.S. Burton (2005) Genetic diversity and species identification in the endangered white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni). Conservation Genetics 6, 929939.

J.L. Gutierrez-Gonzalez , P. Cruz , M.A. del Rio-Portilla and R. Perez-Enriquez (2007) Genetic structure of green abalone Haliotis fulgens population off Baja California, Mexico. Journal of Shellfish Research 26, 839846.

J.V. Kashiwada and I.K. Taniguchi (2007) Application of recent red abalone Haliotis rufescens surveys to management decisions outlined in the California Abalone Recovery and Management Plan. Journal of Shellfish Research 26, 713717.

G.E. Leiva and J.C. Castilla (2001) A review of the world marine gastropod fishery: evolution of catches, management and the Chilean experience. Review of Fish Biology and Fisheries 11, 283300.

P.E. McShane (1996) Patch dynamics and effects of exploitation on abalone (Haliotis iris) populations. Fisheries Research 25, 191199.

F. Micheli , A. Saenz-Arroyo , A. Greenley , L. Vazquez , J.A. Espinoza Montes , M. Rossetto , and G.A. De Leo (2012) Evidence that marine reserves enhance resilience to climatic impacts. PLoS ONE 7, e40832.

F. Micheli , A.O. Shelton , S.M. Bushinsky , A.L. Chiu , A.J. Haupt , K.W. Heiman , C.V. Kappel , M.C. Lynch , R.G. Martone , R.B. Dunbar and J. Watanabe (2008) Persistence of depleted abalones in marine reserves of central California. Biological Conservation 141, 10781090.

K.J. Miller , B.T. Maynard and C.N. Mundy (2009) Genetic diversity and gene flow in collapsed and healthy abalone fisheries. Molecular Ecology 18, 200211.

E. Morales-Bojórquez , M.O. Muciño-Díaz and J.A. Velez-Barajas (2008) Analysis of the decline of the abalone fishery (Haliotis fulgens and H. corrugata) along the west-central coast of Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. Journal of Shellfish Research 27, 865870.

J.J. Pascual-Fernandez , I. Chinea-Mederos and R. De la Cruz-Modino (2015) Marine Protected Areas, small scale commercial versus recreational fishers: governability challenges in the Canary Islands. Spain. Interactive Governance for Small-Scale Fisheries 13, 397412.

R. Riera , O. Perez , O. Alvarez , D. Simon , D. Diaz , O. Monterroso and J. Nuñez (2016) Clear regression of harvested intertidal mollusks. A 20-year (1994–2014) comparative study. Marine Environmental Research 113, 5661.

L. Rogers-Bennett , P.L. Haaker , K.A. Karpov and D.J. Kushner (2002) Using spatially explicit data to evaluate marine protected areas for abalone in southern California. Conservation Biology 16, 13081317.

F. Tuya , A. Boyra , P. Sánchez-Jerez , C. Barberá and R.J. Haroun (2004) Relationships between rocky-reef fish assemblages, the sea urchin Diadema antillarum and macroalgae throughout the Canarian Archipelago. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278, 157169.

A.J. Underwood (1991) Beyond BACI: experimental designs for detecting human impacts on temporal variations in natural populations. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 42, 569687.

M.P. Viera , G. Courtois de Viçose , H. Fernandez-Palacios and M. Izquierdo (2016) Grow-out culture of abalone Haliotis tuberculata coccinea Reeve, fed land-based IMTA produced macroalgae, in a combined fish/abalone offshore mariculture system: effect of stocking density. Aquaculture Research 47, 7181.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 16 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 178 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 17th October 2016 - 17th August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.