Aquatic Haliotis rubra (Blacklip Abalone)

Blake

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Central West, NSW
Scientific Name: Haliotis rubra

Common Name Blacklip Abalone

Other Names: NA

Distribution: All states except Queensland and NT, including Tasmania

Habitat: Caves and rocks around the low tide mark of coastal areas or on offshore reefs.

Field Notes: A flat, rounded and often rough shellfish can grow up to 20cm in diameter. The shell is red with olive mottling and often is covered with barnacles or other sea vegetation which can further break up the coloration of the shell. The underside of the shell is covered in mother of peal with a row of holes.

The abalone attaches to rock faces by a strong muscle underneath the shell where it feeds on sea weed during the night hours. On the black lip abalone this muscle has a prominent black lip which covers the circumference of the muscle.

Uses: A very tasty shellfish but has unfortunately become over fished and therefore increasingly hard to find. It can be found by diving and removed from the rocks with 'hooker' gear. Please respect bag limits.

The abalone should be killed immediately after removal from the water with a strong blow from a mallet less the meat become hard and tough. It is delicious, tenderized and fried but can be cooked on coals, steamed or boiled.


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