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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Abalone Rescued

Abalone Rescued

Abalone shell (credit: Wikipedia)

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake in 2016 struck New Zealand's south island in 2016. It lifted the seafloor several feet above water in places along the coast. Imagers showed thousands of abalone (paua in Maori) were exposed. Near the tourist town of Kaikoura, popular for whale-watching and fishing, the seabed was lifted 10 feet exposing the shellfish reefs completely out of the water.

Abalone is one of the most desired of seafoods anywhere. In many locations the mollusk has been so over-harvested that collection is banned. Abalone poaching, dried and shipped to Asian markets, remains a serious problem. While some people may have rushed to gather the newly exposed mollusks to eat, local fishermen and conservationists gathered as many abalone as possible and replanting them on New Zealand reefs that were not exposed by the earthquake and remain well underwater. A geologist provided some perspective in a news report on the massive quake.  WHB


 Exposed abalone, New Zealand (credit: Anna Redmond)    Shellfish rescue to replant reefs (credit: NZ News 1)

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