ARISTOTLE, EDIBLE & EXTINCTION
Abalone are sea snails and mentioned in history since Aristotle (400 BC). Once called “sea ears” because of its single shell and ear shape, it has withstood the test of time until being overfished to near depletion. The western coast of North America is home to over 7 species. Abalone became a very popular food choice by many cultures and its easy access, helped to quickly deplete it’s resources. Their inner, iridescent shells are beautiful, highly prized and used as decorations, jewelry, fashion and more. With slow growth and breeding challenges, abalone re-population has not kept up. Several species are list as endangered. Yet, they are still found in our oceans worldwide thanks to conservation efforts enacted, and the rapidly growing abalone farm industry. Demand is at an all time high. Natural restoration efforts hold great promise, but still need our protection and support.
During this course, learn about the different abalone species, their anatomy, life cycle, identification, local residents, environmental importance, conservation efforts, and health. Diving for abalone is an exciting activity with your buddy finding these treasured animals in nature is unique opportunity to raise awareness. You will learn the same techniques employed by citizen scientists to count and identify them and measure their size taking care to not disturb them. Additionally, you will record their location and then locate them again on the next dive.
Pre-requisite: Open Water Certification; PADI Medical release signed by physician, and parent/guardian signed release.
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