Haliotis discus hannai; Haliotis tuberculata

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — France
Production method — Open water crate
Picture of Abalone

Sustainability rating one info

Sustainability overview

Abalone can be farmed at sea in submerged crates that rest on the seabed, they graze on seaweed for food. Organic production standards ensure there are minimal environmental interactions and no depletion of resources for food this makes abalone a really sustainable seafood choice.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: 5

Abalone doesn’t require any commercial feed as it grazes on seaweed, this makes it a net producer of protein and as a result gains the highest score in the feed section of the assessment.


Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: 4

Abalone in this system are farmed in crates on the sea bed and not chemicals are used in their production. As this species feeds on seaweed there is no benthic impact from organic pollution. The only issue of concern is the potential escape of the species into the surrounding waters, however as the species farmed is native this is minor issue.


Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: 2

Fish health and welfare concerns are not associated with abalone as they are molluscs and are not included in animal welfare regulations.



Criterion Score: 1

Overall there are regulations in place to address the environmental impacts of production however there is not enough information to assess the effectiveness of these. There is no overall strategic level planning in place to integrate the activities of all users in a water body.


Production method

Open water crate

Abalone can be farmed at sea in submerged crates that rest on the seabed, they graze on seaweed for food.


Abalone (called ormer in France and elsewhere) are molluscs, belonging to a group of animals known as gastropods (the same group as whelks). Abalone have one shell which is flattened, its shape gave their genus the name of Haliotis which means “sea ear”. They have a worldwide distribution, along the coastal waters of every continent, except the Atlantic coast of South America, the Caribbean, and the East Coast of the United States. Abalones reach sexual maturity at a small size, and fertility is high and increases exponentially with size. The spawning season varies among species ; for e.g.. Red abalone in some locations spawn throughout the year. Sexes are separate and fertilization is external, both the eggs and sperm are broadcast into the water . A 1.5 inch abalone may spawn 10,000 eggs or more at a time, while an 8 inch abalone may spawn 11 million or more eggs. The fertilized eggs hatch into floating larvae that feed on plankton until their shells begin to form. Once the shell forms, the juvenile abalone sinks to the bottom where it clings to rocks and crevices with its single powerful foot. Settling rates appear to be variable. After settling, abalones change their diet and feed on macroalgae. Abalone feed on algae in the wild and on some farms, although a manufactured feed is also used. In the wild abalone numbers have declined for a number of reasons, the most serious being illegal harvesting.


France Haliotis. Available at: http://www.abalonebretagne.com/english/. Accessed 05/09/2018

Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91

SUDEVAB Report.2013. Available online at:http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/60438_en.pdf. Accessed 05/09/2018