Abalone or Muttonshell

Abalone, muttonshell from underneath

Abalones are small to very large snails found along many coasts of the world. Often, they are also a very welcome source of food or even a sought-after delicacy, especially in Asian countries. Therefore, in many places the hunt for them is managed to prevent them from over overfishing.

This abalone was found at the Victoria south coast, where it probably was stored ashore for a while by some Japanese scuba divers. Collecting them there may not be a very good idea, as we came across plates warning us of an Abalone disease that seriously threatens the local snail population.

On this picture, one sees the food of the snail, the part that might get eaten. The shell is remarkable, but during the life of the animal grown over. When polished, it reveals the most colourful mother mother-of-pearl.

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by IKO