Divers Release Endangered Abalone Into the Wild for First Time, Boosting Odds of Recovery

Outplanting places hundreds of juvenile abalone into their historic habitat

At 7 a.m. on November 18, a dedicated group of scientific divers gathered on a southern California dock, loading their gear in preparation for a day of diving. In addition to their tanks, wetsuits, and years of underwater research experience, they carried precious cargo – hundreds of juvenile white abalone grown in captivity and ready to be released into the ocean. 

This marked the first release of endangered white abalone into the wild off southern California, a key recovery strategy for the native species. The release is a major step towards bringing white abalone back from the brink of extinction, and it happened thanks to the help of many highly skilled and supportive partners.

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Abalone replant La Jolla 11-2019
Diver adjusts time-lapse camera trained on abalone outplanting enclosure.