Dramatic declines in red abalone populations after opening a “de facto” marine reserve to fishing: testing temporal reserves

  • Published source details Rogers-Bennett L., Hubbard K.E. & Juhasz C.I. (2013) Dramatic declines in red abalone populations after opening a “de facto” marine reserve to fishing: testing temporal reserves. Biological Conservation, 157, 423-431.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Establish temporary fisheries closures

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Establish temporary fisheries closures

    A replicated, before-and after study in 2004–2010 in a rocky seabed area in the North Pacific Ocean, northern California, USA (Rogers-Bennett et al. 2013) found that temporarily reopening an area previously closed to fishing led to a decline in abundance and size of red abalone Haliotis rufescens after three years. Abundance of abalone declined by 65% and was lower three years after reopening (0.45 abalone/m2) compared to during closure (1.3 abalone/m2). This was also true for the size of abalone (after reopening: 168 mm; during closure: 172 mm). Five months after closing the fisheries again, the abundance and size of abalone decreased further (abundance: 0.33/m2; size: 166 mm). In July 2004, an area where abalone fishing had been prohibited was reopened to fishing. In May 2010, the area was designated as a marine protected area and closed again to fishing. Red abalone abundance and size were recorded along a total of 83 transects (60 m2) in spring 2004 (prior to reopening fishing – 23 transects), September 2007 (during fishing – 33 transects), and September 2010 (five months after closing fishing again– 27 transects).

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson)

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