Purple urchins were not getting a lot of love at the cove across Highway 1 from Van Damme State Park on Saturday morning. Urchins have an insatiable appetite for kelp and very few predators, which leads to a near-barren underwater landscape.
A colorful sea star has vanished from the Pacific Ocean off California and Oregon, and its nemesis, a voracious kelp-eating urchin, has run amok. And the consequences for the area’s marine ecology and California’s fishery has been catastrophic.
‘Overfishing and population growth are major threats to the health of the oceans and my personal opinion is that aquaculture is part of the solution’ – Emily Warren, Council of Emerging Leaders in Aquaculture.
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.
Federal scientists and others are exploring the possibility of sea urchin farming in Canada, with at least six pilot studies using Norwegian technology that proponents hope will turn "zombie" urchins which can denude kelp beds into profitable seafood.