Abalone Etiquette

Northern Abalone

Northern Abalone

Just a short post today on a point of etiquette with abalone. I know it sounds strange, but bear with me. Abalone are a recovering species in the Pacific Northwest, where they were hunted, well, harvested nearly into extinction for their tasty flesh. These little guys have that worst of trait combinations in the animal kingdom, they’re tasty and easily caught. As a result, they’re now a protected species in Canada, and in BC, even the possession of one or of their shells (if you’re not from specific First Nations groups) can be a punishable offence under the law.

So why bring this up? These little guys are also photogenic and fun to find on dives. So here’s the etiquette point: if you post pictures of Abalone online, please DO NOT include information on where the photo was taken save for in the broadest of terms (i.e.: say “Vancouver Island” instead of something more accurate like “Deep Cove, near Victoria BC”), and avoid including them in photo sets with photos from the same dive that have specific place names. The reason being that poachers can and have used this information to collect them and sell them on the black market or through shady companies.

So let’s do our part and not give intelligence to poachers, and help the Northern Abalone recover!

About the author

Graeme is a professional diver, qualified as a PADI and SDI Divemaster, DCBC 40m Unrestricted Commercial Scuba Diver, 30m Restricted Surface Supply diver, and CAUS Scientific Diver Lv.2. Graeme has an Associate Degree of Arts in Environmental Studies, where he focused on archaeology and physical geography, and an Advanced GIS certificate.