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Haliotis ovina (Gmelin, 1791)

Sheep's Ear Abalone
Oval Abalone

Tim Vance (2013)



Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Feeding Preference Experiment

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links

Conservation & Threats

A number of conservation issues surround the decline in stocks of temperate commercial abalone species in Australia over the last two decades, but no specific threats to the three tropical abalone species including H. ovina on the Great Barrier Reef have been reported (Shepherd and Brown, 1993).

Since the 1990s, the potential to culture or commercially harvest the smaller tropical abalone as a 'cocktail sized' alternative to the larger temperate species for the Asian market has been explored (Jarayabhand and Paphavasit, 1996; Geiger and Poppe, 2000; Viana et al., 2000), but does not appear to have had a significant impact on the abundance of this animal.

The well publicised threats to the general health of the Great Barrier Reef which may result in loss of habitat are the only likely threats to H. ovina in Australian waters and this is managed by The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). GBRMPA is the Government body charged with the management and protection of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. GBRMPA uses an ecosystem based approach based on a Zoning Plan that permits or limits different activities in parts of the reef, based on a principle of preserving the reef balanced with commercial interests such as fishing and tourism (