The most common other name for paua is Abalone
Limit: 10 Paua per diver
Paua reproduce seasonally and will usually spawn from autumn to early spring when the temperatures are low. Maturity is reached between 70mm-90mm for most types of paua and
is regarded as the time when paua can breed.
Paua are broadcast spawners and fertilization takes place in the water around the paua. Fertilized eggs sink to the sea bottom and develop into free swimming larva which take on the name trochophore. They then develop into a shelled veliger larva. This then develops a foot, eye spots and radula (used for breaking food down) and settles on the sea bed. They then shed their swimming organ which is called a velum. The small juvenile paua which are 5mm in length settle 1-2m below the surface. Once they have reached between 5-10mm, around 4-6 months, they will settle in the intertidal zones under rocks and boulders. Paua take about three to four years to reach legal size.
Juvenile paua feed differently to adult or mature paua. A juvenile paua will eat most seaweeds, but prefer red seaweeds such as Hymenocladia, Polysiphonia and Pterocladia and they actively forage at night. An adult paua will eat red seaweed but will prefer the larger brown seaweed such as Lessonia and Macrocystis. They are less active at night and prefer to position themselves in areas of good current and wait for drift seaweeds.
The holes in the shell are for breathing and reproduction. Starfish are the paua’s most formidable predator as they have learnt to suffocate the paua by putting their tentacles over the breathing holes thus forcing the paua to let go of the rock.