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International Abalone Society 
Fisheries        Aquaculture        Restoration        Research


Photo Credits: Jennifer Burney, Alexia, Athena Maguire


It was a challenge to organize the 11th International Abalone Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand, and we are deeply grateful to the Local Organizing Committee, led by Andrea Alfaro, and to all the sponsors for such a successful meeting. Special thanks to Leonie Venter who was there always coordinating every detail. It was my pleasure to work with Andrea and Leonie throughout the organization process. We also thank the volunteers for their invaluable collaboration.

Everything was perfect, including the program, workshops, fieldtrips, lunch meals, social functions and friendship. It was especially enlightening to learn about the achievements, culture and spirituality of the Maori people and their influence on modern New Zealand life. We are also very grateful to them. 

Altogether 221 people from 15 countries attended the symposium from February 27 to March 2, 2023, in a wonderful venue: The Auckland University of Technology. This meeting had to be postponed for two years because of the pandemic, although its effects on international travel were still present. This represented an extra but successful effort by the Organizing Committee. I am sure this symposium marks the return to the usual 3-year periodicity between meetings.

As the pandemic developed for such a long time, we were tempted to organize online meetings, but there is nothing like the direct interaction between colleagues, including exchanging thoughts, hugs, shaking hands and having dinner together (or just a drink). I am glad we waited until we could meet in person again. 

Between symposia, we can continue the communication among members of the International Abalone Society (IAS) through our website forum. I encourage you to participate and provide ideas to improve it.

I was honored to serve as the IAS President for 8 years (2015-2023) and I really want to thank the Executive Committee (EC), Country Representatives and all IAS members for their support during this time. The IAS is now in good hands with the new EC led by our new President Laura Rogers-Bennett, our former Vice President, who will also organize the 12th International Abalone Symposium, 2026, in California, USA. Laura is an outstanding abalone scientist, has been in the IAS since it started, has been an EC member in different positions and knows what is next.
She has all my support. 

Best regards,

Ricardo Searcy-Bernal


The International Abalone Society (IAS) is a forum to further collaboration between abalone aquaculturists, fishers, and research scientists. We promote advances in abalone work through our website, share information at international IAS symposia and grant IAS Awards.

What Our Community Does


Photo Credits: Bob Evans Photography, Western Abalone Divers Association, Derek Stein, NOAA


Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
IAS is committed to creating and encouraging a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion with a deep appreciation for diverse backgrounds, experiences and knowledge bases. 
We welcome members from countries around the world with a diversity of ethnicities, races, religions, gender identities, sexual orientation, different physical and mental abilities, marital and parental status. 

Calm Waters
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