This may have slipped under people's radar, so I thought I'd put up a quick post. In February, the black abalone will be put on the endangered species list. It joins the white abalone and 2 species of coral as the only invertebrates on the list.
In some ways this is a major win, as now the abalone will get the protection it desperately needs. In other ways, it is always a major loss when a species gets to the point were it needs to be on the list. The white abalone, (the other mollusk on the list) is basically considered reproductively extinct. They are very hard to rear in captivity, so no real progress has been made in raising and re-introducing them to the wild. I don't know if black abalone are similar to whites, or if they are more like reds, which are much easier to rear. So much easier to rear that they are often farmed.
One can only hope that there will be some way to restore the black abalone to the tidepools.