In recent years, the total quantity of abalone produced on farms worldwide has increased significantly while abalone fisheries have declined. Fishery production was almost 20,000 metric tons (mt) in the 1970s but was only about 6,500 mt in 2015. Over the same period, farm production has increased from negligible quantities in the 1970s to 129,287 mt in 2015, the majority being produced in China and South Korea. Illegal exploitation, particularly in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, is still a major problem. Prices on the world market fell during the Global Financial Crisis, but now appear to be increasing again.
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Vol. 35 • No. 3