It’s a tale all too common: it’s tastes good so we end up eating waaaaaaaay too much of it.
Except with abalone, the consequences weren’t just an expanding waistline and newly-punched holes in old belts. It was driving the species to near-extinction. Though once common, you’d be hard-pressed to find an abalone on the Southern California coast because, well, we ate them all.
But half a century ago, you’d be hard-pressed to not find an abalone. In some spots, you had to walk over abalone just to get to the water. Plucking them off rocks and grilling them on the beach was common. It’s an era old-time divers remember fondly.
And it’s an era that one Orange County environmentalist wants to bring back.