During the 2008 season, 318 mt (meat weight) of abalone (Haliotis spp.) were commercially fished in México. The species composition of the catch was H. fulgens (70.8%), H. corrugata (28.9%), and H. cracherodii (0.3%). During the past 5 y, total catches increased 29% as a result of the recovery of natural populations of the 2 main species. In particular, H. corrugata catches increased from 50.4 t in 2004 to 91.7 t in 2008 (up by 82%). Currently, 3 private farms culture abalone (mostly H. rufescens) to market size (approximately >7 cm), and 29.6 t of this product were sold in 2008, mostly to markets in Asia and the United States. One of these companies is also producing abalone pearls and jewelry. A new private farm with restocking and growout objectives has just started operations. In addition, 6 hatcheries of fishermen cooperatives produce larvae and seed for restocking purposes and at least 2 of these have started grow-out trials. During the past 2 y, more than 130 million larvae and 350 thousand seeds (approximately > 1.5 cm) of H. fulgens and H. corrugata have been released in the wild stocks by these cooperative hatcheries.
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Vol. 29 • No. 3