Red Abalone

Common Name:

Red Abalone

Scientific Name:

Haliotis rufescens

Seafood guides quicktabs

Sourcing Summary

< 4 in.

Farmed abalone is available year-round although the supply is limited and the prices may be high. Red abalone is produced live, fresh, frozen, as well as processed and tenderized, dried, salted, and canned. Farmed U.S. red abalone should be between two to three inches in size, any larger than four inches and it’s either imported or illegally poached. Tenderized and cooked abalone is mild and slightly sweet in taste with a firm and tender texture, however if there are needle marks in an abalone steak, it is actually tenderized cuttlefish.

Harvest Methods

Farmed

Open/Uncontained
Off-Bottom Culture
Closed/Contained
Cages

Product Forms

Fresh

  • Live
  • Raw Shucked
  • Steaks

Frozen

  • Raw Shucked
  • Steaks
  • Value-Added
Fresh Seasonal Availability
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Culinary Composition

Flavor

Texture

Cooking Methods

Health & Nutrition

Nutrition facts

Serving size: 100 Grams
Amount per serving
  • Calories
    105.00
  • Total Fat
    0.76
    g
  • Cholesterol
    85.00
    mg
  • Sodium
    301.00
    mg
  • Carbohydrates
    0.00
    g
  • Protein
    17.10
    g
  • Omega-3
    0.10
    g
Biology

Information coming soon.

Species Habitat

Information coming soon.

Science & Management:
  • Farmed
    Science: 

    Information coming soon.

    Management: 

    Information coming soon.

Wild
Farmed

Habitat Impacts

Red abalone counts for most of the abalone produced by Californian facilities, which grow the abalone either inland suspended in barrels or in cages suspended in sheltered waterways. China and Taiwan produce most of the world’s abalone. Strides are being made in producing farmed abalone sustainably internationally.

Feed

The largest Chinese farming operations grow their own kelp to feed abalone. Others use wild kelp. In California, where kelp has been harvested for various uses since 1911, some diving groups and conservation organizations are opposed to taking wild kelp for abalone farming. The Monterey Bay Aquarium cites a report by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stating that kelp harvesting has had “no significant negative impacts on the kelp forest.” In South Africa research is under way to find alternatives to fresh kelp for feed.

Disease, Pathogen and Parasite Interaction

In the early 1990s, a parasitic pest called the sabellid worm that causes shells to become brittle and deformed ravaged South African abalone farms. However, government and industry research has nearly eradicated the problem, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In California, abalone farms are spot-tested to check for the worm, and can become certified as sabellid-free. A disease called withering syndrome has been even more problematic because it killed abalone. The bacteria that causes this disease is also found in natural systems, so it’s just as likely to damage wild populations, reports the Monterey Bay Aquarium. State and federal agencies monitor for the disease.

Origin Harvest Method Sustainability Rating Products
Unassessed Origin Unassessed Farming Methods
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Worldwide Indoor Flowthrough Tank
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Worldwide Open Bottom Culture
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Worldwide Off-Bottom Culture
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Worldwide Outdoor Flowthrough Tank
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Worldwide Enclosed Bottom Culture
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Name Country State/Province
American Abalone United States California
Catalina Offshore Products United States California
FreshCatch United States California
Mikuni Wild Harvest United States Washington
Monterey Abalone Company United States California
OM Seafood Company United States Oregon
Real Good Fish United States California
Royal Hawaiian Seafood United States California
Sea Forager Seafood United States California
The Abalone Farm United States California
The Cultured Abalone Farm United States California

Acknowledgements

  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Seafood Watch Program
  • SeafoodSource
Last Updated: 6/24/2020