Abalone is the generic name for the many species of the genus Haliotis (no, they don`t have bad breath). Paua (pronounced pow-a) is the name the Maori people gave to this large edible sea snail that lives in the shallow coastal waters along the rocky coast of New Zealand. In the United States and Australia, we call them abalone, but the United Kingdom calls them ormer shells. Abalone are also found on rocky coastlines in shallow water where they cling to the rocks with a `foot` and feed on seaweed... see, all snails like green stuff!
Paua grow very large and have strict rules on their harvest. In New Zealand, `wild` paua are only to be harvested by free diving (read: no scuba equipment), and in restricted numbers per day. Similar restrictions are in place along the coast of California, where poaching abalone is strictly prohibited, and can be very dangerous. New Zealand also has a burgeoning industry of paua farms, which are located throughout the country.