Conservation status

Most vetigastropods are relatively common, as one would expect of pelagic dispersing species. Endemic taxa are found among such usual biogeographical features as isolated islands in large oceanic basins and in such smaller seas as the Mediterranean. The only vetigastropods on the IUCN Red List are two members of the Skeneoidea, Teinsotoma fernandesi and Teinsotoma funiculatum from Sao Tomé and Principe in the Gulf of Guinea off western Africa. Both are Data Deficient. At more regional levels, several abalone species of the genus Haliotis are threatened both by overharvesting and by a pathogen in western North America that leads to a fatal wasting disease called withering syndrome. The overharvesting of large Fissurella species or lapas has also been problematic in Chile. In the tropical Pacific, the commercial harvest of Trochus species for the button industry began in the early twentieth century and has significantly reduced populations in some areas. Lastly, the shell trade puts tremendous value on some species of Pleurotomarioidea; collectors pay hundreds of dollars for exquisite specimens.

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