PAUA--Haliotis iris - shell mosaic, shell tiles, shell laminates shell jewelry,shell pearl,mother of pearl,abalone jewelry,shell necklace,shell bracelet

PAUA--Haliotis iris


PAUA--Haliotis iris
(from wikipedia)

 

Pāua is the Māori name given to three species of large edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs which belong to the family Haliotidae (there is only genus Haliotis), known in the United States and Australia as abalone, and in the United Kingdom as ormer shells.

New Zealand's best known pāua species is Haliotis iris. It is also the most common species, growing up to 18 cm in length

Habitat
Pāua are commonly found in shallow coastal waters along rocky shorelines in depths of 1 to 15 m. There is clear distinction between juvenile and adult habitats for Haliotis iris, pāua less than 7 cm occur in crevices and under stones in the shallow intertidal zone while adults are found in subtidal zone

Shell description
The shell of the pāua is oval, and the exterior is often covered with greyish incrustations. In contrast, the interior layer of shell (called the nacre) of a pāua is an iridescent swirl of intense green, blue, purple, and sometimes pink colours.
  

Harvesting
Pāua are gathered recreationally and commercially but strict catch limits are set for both. For recreational fishers this is ten pāua per person per day. The minimum legal size for caught pāua is 125 mm for Haliotis iris and 80 mm for Haliotis australis. measured in a straight line at the greatest length of the shell.[2] Pāua can only be caught by free diving. It is illegal to dive for pāua using scuba equipment.

There is an extensive global black market in the collection and export of abalone meat. Pāua poaching is a major industry in New Zealand with many thousands being taken illegally, often undersized. The right to harvest pāua can be granted legally under Māori customary rights, but since permits to harvest are abused, it is difficult to police. The limit is strictly enforced by roving Ministry of Fisheries officers with the backing of police. Convictions have resulted in seizure of diving gear, boats, and motor vehicles as well as fines and in rare cases, imprisonment. The Ministry of Fisheries expects in the year 2004/05, nearly 1,000 tons of pāua will be poached, with 75% of that being undersized.[3]

Human use
To Māori, pāua are recognised taonga, or treasure, esteemed both as kaimoana (seafood) and as a valued resource for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. Pāua are frequently used to represent the eyes in Māori carvings and traditionally are associated with the stars or whetū, the symbolic eyes of ancestors that gaze down from the night sky.

The pāua is iconic in New Zealand: its black muscular foot is considered a delicacy, and the shell is frequently used in jewelry.

Highly polished New Zealand pāua shells are extremely popular as souvenirs with their striking blue, green, and purple iridescence.

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