A favorite dish for purple sea urchins living off the coast of California is kelp. Problem is, those kelp forests are shrinking dramatically and that's hurting the marine ecosystem. So a group of scientists ran an experiment to see if these sea urchins can themselves become a top menu item.
Purple urchins continue to plague divers seeking out red urchins throughout California. Blamed on the warm-water Blob, El-Niño and other environmental factors, large beds of giant and bull kelp disappeared, which not only provided food for the red urchins, but contributed to plump egg skeins headed for markets.
In this episode, we talk about the species of sea urchin that we should be eating more of, not only because they are a delicious upgrade to many standard dishes, but also to help revive Pacific Ocean aquaculture.
Anthony Bourdain explores the rocky, east-coast Canadian island of Newfoundland, a place abundant in fish and wild game and steeped in distinctive traditions; Anthony's guides include prominent chefs Frederic Moran, Jeremy Charles and David McMillan.
California sheephead and spiny lobsters may be helping control sea urchin populations in Southern California kelp forests, where sea otters—a top urchin predator—have long been missing, according to a new San Diego State University (SDSU) study published in the journal Ecology. The research provides new insight into the complex predator-prey relationships in kelp forests that can be seen in the absence of sea otters.
The kelp forests of California are one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems in the state, providing a home to more than 800 species of plants and animals. 2 Beginning in 2013, a “perfect storm” of kelp stressors led to the loss of more than 93 percent of the bull kelp along the coast of Northern California.
A sea urchin dubbed the “cockroach of the ocean” has almost completely destroyed the kelp forests off the coast of Northern California — endangering the regions biodiversity and local economy. And it's all because of climate change.
Early on a gray summer Saturday, an unusual assemblage — commercial fishermen, recreational boaters, neoprene-clad divers — gathered for a mission at Albion Cove, a three-hour drive north of San Francisco.
Too many purple sea urchins and not enough bull kelp continues to stymie California’s red urchin dive industry. Since the one-two punch of El Niño and the warm-water blob in 2016, bull kelp beds have declined by 93 percent from previous years, according to a study by the California Fish and Game Commission.
Sea urchins hit all the taste pleasure points – salt, sweet and umami. In a lot of places, sea urchins are overfished, but that certainly isn't the case off the coast of California, where there's such an overabundance of purple sea urchins that it has become an aquacultural concern.