SEA URCHIN

Sea Urchins are an ancient life form known as echinoderms, which include starfish and sea cucumbers. Sea urchins have been eaten as a traditional food by many cultures around the world for tens of thousands of years. The quality of NSW sea urchin is world class and are now being exported overseas as a delicacy. In many parts of NSW sea urchins are considered to be over abundant and are causing “urchin barrens” which is the local extinction of seaweed beds. The collection of sea urchins is helping to restore this balance allowing seaweed regeneration. The NSW sea urchin fishery is considered to be a highly sustainable and well managed fishery. All sea urchins are collected by hand, one at a time. This ensures minimal disturbance to marine habitat. By eating sea urchins, you are helping to protect our coastal inshore reefs.

TYPE 1. Purple Sea Urchin

SPECIES: Purple Sea Urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii)

The purple urchin is also known as the Long spine urchin. It has large bright yellow roe or sometimes called tongues. It has a rich and creamy flavour. Sea urchins are herbivores, grazing on kelp and other macro algae from the low tide mark to a depth of 30m. In recent year’s they have been acknowledged as a marine predator and pest, creating large urchin barrens devoid of kelp, reducing the available habit for other marine life.

 

SUSTAINABILITY: 

Each sea urchin is harvested by hand and is considered one of the most sustainable fisheries in Australia.

COLLECTION: Primarily between Cronulla and Kiama in the pristine waters adjacent to the Royal National Park, Sydney NSW

AVAILABILITY:  January to July

TYPE 2. Red Sea Urchin

SPECIES: Red Sea Urchin (Heliocidaris tuberculata)

The red urchin has shorter, thicker spines than it’s purple cousin, with a dark red to brown colour. It has large bright yellow to orange roe, sometimes called tongues. The roe tends to have a rich nutty flavour with a creamy consistence. Red sea urchins are herbivores, grazing on kelp and other macro algae from the low tide mark to a depth of 10m.

 

SUSTAINABILITY: Each sea urchin is harvested by hand and is considered one of the most sustainable fisheries in Australia. 

COLLECTION: Primarily between Cronulla and Kiama in the pristine waters adjacent to the Royal National Park, Sydney NSW.

AVAILABILITY: Red sea urchin is more difficult to harvest and is managed by quota, but is available all year round.

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© 2020 by Craig Shephard / Saltwater Harvest