A Seashell is NOT FIRE-SAFE, especially with Abalone shells as they have a row of holes which run along its side. These holes are used to allow the animal to breathe when it is the sea, but when it is used as a bowl to hold ash from a 'smudge stick', it is more than likely that the ash will fall through these holes.
~ Abalone is sacred to the Goddess of Water and since Seashells are naturally affiliated with water (yin). It is not Respectful to use a shell - especially Abalone - for air/fire (yang) rituals.
Abalone is associated with the Karuk people, a Native American tribe who believe ‘Abalone is a Spirit Woman’ the feminine form of wealth, originating in ancient times, she must be present at every ceremony where Abalone pendants are suspended from the dresses worn by the women that evokes strong feelings before the ‘Spirit Being of the world’ as they meditated.
~ Loss of habitat. Coastal "development" and pollution have ruined large areas of abalone habitat.
Abalone is one of the most prized sea delicacies worldwide. Farming of abalone began in the late 1950's and early 1960's in Japan and China.
~ A rapid development of abalone cultivation has taken place in the 1990s.
This is now widespread in many countries including USA, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, China, Taiwan, and others. The largest cultured abalone producer in the world is China with over 2,000 farms and a total production of approximately 50,000 tons. Worldwide, there are over 15 species of abalone which are farmed and commercially important.
Greed for the meat in 2014, a species of abalone only found in New Zealand is commanding top prices in Asia, spurring an increasing number of recreational fishers.