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Officials recommend canceling red abalone fishing season

December 6, 2017
FILE - In this April 21, 2007 file photo, an abalone picked by a diver is seen on its back in Fort Ross, Calif. California wildlife officials are recommending the 2018 season for red abalone fishing be shut down due to concerns about declining populations. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife made the recommendation after a survey revealed 37 percent of all abalone recorded were dead. A final decision will be made Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, at a meeting in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
FILE - In this April 21, 2007 file photo, an abalone picked by a diver is seen on its back in Fort Ross, Calif. California wildlife officials are recommending the 2018 season for red abalone fishing be shut down due to concerns about declining populations. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife made the recommendation after a survey revealed 37 percent of all abalone recorded were dead. A final decision will be made Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, at a meeting in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — California wildlife officials are recommending that the 2018 abalone fishing fishing season be canceled due to concerns about declining population.

The Mercury News reports Wednesday the California Department of Fish and Wildlife made the recommendation after a survey revealed 37 percent of all abalone recorded were dead.

Fish and Game Commission will make the final decision Thursday at a meeting in San Diego.

Fish and Wildlife senior scientist Laura Roger-Bennett says shells empty or filled with decaying flesh littered the seafloor and that the outlook for the abalone is bleak.

The mollusks are being affected by a massive kelp die-off. Red abalone feed on kelp and cannot reproduce as easily when facing starvation.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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