National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are closed to the public while the waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

Skip to main content
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page

Research Technical Report

A PDF version of this report is available at:

White Abalone (Haliotis sorenseni) Five-year Status Review: Summary and Evaluation

National Marine Fisheries Service (July 2018)

National Marine Fisheries Service, West Coast Region, Long Beach, CA. Report 37 pp.


The white abalone is a marine snail that occurs subtidally at depths of 5 to 60 meters (m) in waters off southern California and Baja California. They are broadcast spawners and relatively long-lived, with an estimated life span of 35 to 40 years. The species was listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2001. The primary threat to white abalone is the species’ low densities caused by historical overharvest. The species’ low densities have led to repeated recruitment failure and continued declines in abundance despite prohibitions on white abalone harvest in California since 1997 and in Mexico since 2003. In 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published the Final Recovery Plan for white abalone, to serve as a roadmap to guide recovery efforts. In 2016, NMFS published the Species in the Spotlight FiveYear Action Plan for white abalone, highlighting the priority recovery actions for 2016-2020.