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)
It’s official: The California Fish and Game Commission is officially suspending the 2018 North Coast abalone fishery. Commissioners made their decision yesterday by a unanimous vote after seeing evidence of mass starvation and mortality among red abalone over the past several years. Despite desires to keep the fishery open, the four commissioners determined that the risks of continuing to harvest the mollusks were too great, given continuing decline in the stock. The commission inserted a sunset of April 1st, 2019 that will allow the governor-appointed panel to revisit the situation.