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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Collecting Abalone Shells  (Read 219 times)

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Hojoman

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December 7, 2017

Question: When abalone diving, is it legal to collect the old shells of abalone that are on the ocean floor or on the beach? Also, how long do I need to keep the tags on my legally harvested shells after the meat of the abalone is consumed? (Grant Newnom)

Answer: Fish and wildlife laws generally don’t prohibit the collection of shells from the bottom of the ocean or on land. However, a specific diving area (for example, a county or state park) may have restrictions, so it’s a good idea to check local rules and regulations.

Remember that abalone tags “must be left affixed to the shell, including while stored at a residence or non-transient location, until the abalone is processed for immediate consumption.” (CCR Title 14, section 29.16(e)). And while collecting the shells is generally allowed, selling the shells is illegal.