Population dynamics, genetic analysis and management techniques for the recreational red abalone (Haliotus refescens) fishery in Oregon

Increased concern for changing population dynamics in abalone fisheries has necessitated shifts in conservation and management. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) results indicate that red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) in Oregon are genetically connected to population strongholds. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) of H. rufescens genetic samples showed considerable overlap across four Oregon sites. Larval dispersal potential and rare hydrodynamic regime shifts could sustain a small population. The red abalone in Oregon is imperiled and its future is uncertain, requiring increased conservation and monitoring efforts. This conservation and management plan suggests focusing on understanding ecosystem shifts driving population levels. Future considerations for managing such a marine broadcast spawning invertebrate with low densities, limited dispersal, and variable recruitment that hold historical, social, and economic value are considered and explored as climate shifts are expected to affect ecological parameters at the local and population level. This thesis includes both previously published/unpublished and co-authored material.

Smith, Kendall R.
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University of Oregon
Masters of Science, Biology