The Fish Site: Urchinomics Perfect Blend of Aquaculture and Conservation?
Across the worlds oceans, sea urchins are on the march and thats not a good thing. Reports on how a new system of population management can stem a damaging swell in numbers while meeting a growing demand for their you-know-whats.
From the outside, urchins look anything but tasty. Crack open that spikey exterior, though, and you will find a delicacy highly coveted by sushi lovers and some experimental chefs: uni – the urchin’s gonads. As demand for uni continues to increase, urchin fisheries have declined due to overfishing. It is somewhat ironic, then, that in some places such as Australia, Norway and California, the combination overfishing of urchin predators and warming waters has given rise to armies of these slow-moving omnivores, which are eating their way through kelp forests, reducing them to ‘urchin barrens’.