US

California cuts abalone catch, eliminates 2 diving months

  • 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 managers have curtailed the 2017 red abalone season, axing both April and November from the calendar and sharply reducing the allowable annual catch. (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 managers have curtailed the 2017 red abalone season, axing both April and November from the calendar and sharply reducing the allowable annual catch. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Saturday, April 21, 2007, file photo, abalone divers brave Pacific Ocean surf as they hunt for the shellfish at low tide in Fort Ross, Calif. California wildlife managers have curtailed the 2017 red abalone season, axing both April and November from the calendar and sharply reducing the allowable annual catch. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

    FILE - In this Saturday, April 21, 2007, file photo, abalone divers brave Pacific Ocean surf as they hunt for the shellfish at low tide in Fort Ross, Calif. California wildlife managers have curtailed the 2017 red abalone season, axing both April and November from the calendar and sharply reducing the allowable annual catch. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)  (The Associated Press)

California wildlife managers have sharply reduced the amount of red abalone that divers can catch this year because ocean conditions have prompted extensive starvation in abalone stocks.

April and November have been removed from this year's fishing calendar for the mollusks.

Red abalone is highly sought after by California divers allowed to catch for sport only in waters north of San Francisco.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/2otWRgC) that state Department of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist Jerry Kashiwada says it will be the first April since 1921 that red abalone cannot legally be harvested.

The annual abalone catch allowed per diver will be reduced from 18 to 12 in to reduce this year's harvest 25 percent.

That could offset abalone population reductions and low reproduction rates.

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Information from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemocrat.com