Shy shellfish under scrutiny

From Fish magazine, December 2017:

If the coastal marine environment was a cocktail party, Brownlip Abalone would be the guest dressed in a nondescript outfit trying desperately to blend in with the curtains.

They are the archetypal shy, retiring creature, and there has been little research on the species since the 1980s. But a new report commissioned by the FRDC is shining more light its way, both on the wild and as a cultured species.

Brownlip Abalone – Haliotis rubra conicopora – is found along the south-western coastline of Western Australia, extending as far around as South Australia.

In an industry dominated by the more eye-catching and lucrative Greenlip Abalone, Brownlip Abalone has long been viewed as bycatch. Its lower commercial value has contributed to the lack of interest in it as a species and as a distinct fishery. There is even debate about whether it is a distinct species, with suggestions it may be a sub-species of the Blacklip Abalone (Haliotis rubra rubra) common to eastern Australian coastlines. Read more.

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