Friday, July 26, 2013

Paua Shell and Abalone

Etsy has recently changed their policy of allowing pre-ban endangered species items. This is good news from a conservation stand point. Out of curiosity I looked at the list of endangered and threatened animals and realized that two species of abalone are listed.

When most of us think Abalone, this is what we are imagining. A beautiful iridescent shell that is reminiscent of tropical waters. With such beauty, it is easy to imagine how these wonders ended up on the list. But we would be wrong.
Stock photo from Wikipedia of Haliotis iris.
This is not the albalone that is endangered. These are:
Black Abalone
White Abalone
If you look up Paua Shell, you will quickly find out that it too is part of the albalone group, but unlike the two endanged albalone, Paua's are found in New Zealand. In fact not only are they not endangered, but New Zealand even has a growing aquaculture industry for paua. They harvest the snails for both their meat and their beautiful shells, like these:

Paua Shell Earrings

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