The California Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted earlier this week to close the sport abalone fishery statewide for the entirety of 2018. The decision follows several years of increased restrictions on the fishery including reduced season length, bag limits, and other measures aimed at lowering the number of abalone harvested. Despite these measures, scientific surveys show declining abalone populations along with environmental conditions adverse to the mollusks. The State’s Abalone Recovery and Management plan, adopted in 2005, (available here) helped guide the Commission’s decision. Whether the closure will extend beyond 2018 remains to be seen.