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Abalone, Indigenous Peoples, and Climate Change

Indigenous peoples who have relied on the shellfish for thousands of years find themselves challenged by law and climate.

We are not here to argue about whether our driving big four-wheel drive trucks and eating tasty steaks is going to cause the atmosphere of the planet to fade into outer space or if we're just all gonna catch fire one day (or more accurately boil in a slow cooker much like the frog from that story you hear all the time). We're here to talk about fishing, hunting, and being outside.

However when we find stories that have effect on indigenous peoples they make us take notice. Climate change is one thing; the original people living here is quite another. We think they should be given special rights - at least the freedom they had before the world discovered their forests and their oceans.

This story is from High Country News, and it's about the abolone population and how the local tribes have been making use of it for beautiful creatives for a long time (besides eating them). A combination of a changing climate (we agree it is changing, just not why), overfishing, and regulations is making it harder and harder for them to live the lives they have known for thousands of years..

Abalone shells and the rich meat inside have sustained Mata’s people throughout their existence. And the Chumash are just one of the coastal Native communities for whom abalone holds a central place in culture and cuisine, and in jewelry, regalia and ceremonies.


Now, however, a “perfect storm” of overfishing and climate change is driving the abalone perilously close to extinction, pushing the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to cancel the 2018 abalone fishing season.

From High Country News

The Online Fisherman

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