The federal agency has recently announced that it does not approve of arguments in support that the pinto abalone is a threatened species. It said that its status review is not in line with claims that the six-inch Pacific Ocean marine snail requires federal security under the Endangered Species Act.
According to a report published in the Associated Press, two conservation assemblies had filed a petition with The National Marine Fisheries Service in July 2013. The petition demanded the agency to conduct a status test for the marine snail species, fearing it is likely to soon face extinction.
Pinto abalone is a six-inch long marine snail and is valued for its delicate flavor. It is also well-known for its mother-of-pearl shell. These aspects of the species form the basis of the raised concerns of the wildlife officials. The snail species is found in the Pacific Ocean Coastal stretch from Alaska in the north to Baja California in the south.
Regarding the population of pinto abalone, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBE) had claimed that it has become alarmingly sparse in Northern California. The Center also said that its population in the Southern California region has also decreased. Both, the CBE and the Natural Resources Defense Council have argued that Pinto abalone’s population has dropped to 80%, from previous records of 99%.
However, the agency stated that although the population of the species has been impacted due to various factors, it still is not on the verge of extinction. The agency named over harvesting alongside improper enforcement to be the main reasons for a decrease in the abundance of the species. Additionally, the agency said that it will keep the marine snail in its “species of concern.”