Abalone Shell 04 Red 10-12 cm (1 pc)
An Abalone is a single shelled sea snail, a gastropod mollusk in the Haliotidae family (along with whelks and sea slugs). Abalone shells are a gift from the sea and, thus, symbolically represent the water element during a smudging ceremony, while the herb represents earth, the flame is fire, and smoke represents air, carrying our prayers to the Spirit world. Abalone have become an endangered species in certain areas of the world. As demand for its meat and shell continues to increase, wild Abalone fishing has been banned in some areas and quotas for fishermen of wild Abalone have been reduced in other sensitive areas. Fortunately Abalone farms have sprung up in several places around the world, taking a great deal of pressure off their wild cousins. Farming of abalone began in the late 1950s. Today there are Abalone farms in over 20 countries around the world. Farmed shells are generally distinguishable from the wild ones by the fact that they are cleaner (less calcium/barnacles buildup) and in better condition than wild-harvested shells. The colour and uniformity of the rings on the outer shells also indicate steady, farm-fed feeding habits. However, as the the art of Abalone farming develops, farmers have now begun to take the art of farming out of land based vats and back into the sea by "seeding" designated areas along coastlines and where food and water quality are carefully monitored. Shells from these farms are almost indistinguishable from their wilder cousins and therefor it becomes increasingly important for vendors to check their sources. Turtle Lodge Trading Post has always purchased our Abalone from farmed sources. Note that larger farmed shells are becoming very hard to come by because most Abalone farms sell when the Abalone are about 11-12 cm.