Haliotis discus hannai; Haliotis tuberculata
Production country — Ireland
Production method — Recirculating system
Abalone can be farmed on land in aquaculture systems that are enclosed, referred to as “recirculating systems”, which means that all water and waste are contained. Abalone graze on seaweeds for food. As there are no environmental interactions and no depletion of resources for food this makes abalone a really sustainable seafood choice.
Criterion Score: 5
Abalone doesn’t require any commercial feed as it grazes on seaweed
Criterion Score: 7
As abalone are farmed in land based recirculating closed systems there aren’t the environmental impacts that are associated with open water aquaculture production.
Fish Health and Welfare
Criterion Score: 2
Fish health and welfare concerns are not associated with abalone as they are molluscs.
Criterion Score: 1
As this assessment is for land based production the regulations regarding environment impacts are either not applicable or are in place and are effective. One producer in Ireland holds organic certification, the other does not at time of the assessment
Abalone can be farmed on land in aquaculture systems that are enclosed, referred to as “recirculating systems”, which means that all water and waste are contained. Abalone graze on seaweeds for food.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.Abalone
Clam, Manila (Farmed)
Clam, Manila, Japanese carpet shell (Caught at sea)
Crab, brown or edible
Crawfish, Red Swamp
Lobster, Norway, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi
Mussel, mussels (Caught at sea)
Mussel, mussels (Farmed)
Oyster, Native, oysters
Oyster, Native, oysters (Farmed)
Oyster, Pacific, oysters
Prawn, Endeavour, Greasy back
Prawn, King (whiteleg), prawns
Prawn, Northern, prawns
Prawn, Tiger prawns
Scallop, King, scallops
Scallop, Queen, scallops
Squid, Japanese flying
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.
ReferencesFrance 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