White abalone are large sea snails that used to be found in large numbers in rocky reefs and kelp forests along the Southern California coast. Unfortunately for abalone, they're pretty tasty when cooked, which led to overfishing and dwindling population numbers in the 1990s.
Despite a moratorium on abalone harvesting 16 years ago, their numbers continue to decline, and a recent study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says white abalone could soon be extinct.
Whenever we get startling news from the seas, we call Pat Krug, a marine biologist from Cal State LA.
Pat Krug, marine biologist from Cal State LA.