Could Eating Sea Urchins Save NSW's Southern Coastal Reefs?

Could Eating Sea Urchins Save NSW's Southern Coastal Reefs?

May 15, 2020

Sea Urchins are reeking havoc on NSW's southern coastal reefs and researchers are urging Australians to broaden their taste buds and put Sea Urchins on the menu.

Sea urchins tick off all the taste pleasure boxes, and have flavours of salt, sweet and umami. They basically taste like butter that has been harvested from the sea.

Most people think that these spiky little creatures on the ocean floor don’t move at all, which is in fact not true. Each Sea Urchin can cover up to four metres of ground each month, and as there is already an overgrowth of the Sea Urchin population, this is a big problem. They are now even considered a pest. 

On the South East coast of Australia the Centro Urchin, which looks purpley black, is causing the destruction. These sea urchins live on the coastal floor and are exterminating the seaweed habitat, leaving a barren white rock desert in their wake. These Sea Urchins are devouring kelp which in turn depleting lobster and abalone stocks. The population of Centro Urchins are getting out of hand and worsening. Due to the large number of Sea Urchins they have caused an imbalance of the biodiversity on NSW’s southern coastal reefs. The urchins eat everything in their path, leaving behind a colourless scene that looks like a “moonscape”.

As this is getting out of control, researchers have urged Australians to put sea urchins on their menus which in turn will help the environment. Asian cultures are the largest consumers and have been diving for and consuming Urchins since the 1300s. Also across the globe populations have been enjoying the delicacy of Sea Urchins for centuries. Unfortunately, here in Australia we have been behind the band waggon for some time and we are only just starting to discover this natural delicacy. Australia is home to some of the best Sea Urchin Roe in the world due to our lush coastal areas and conditions.

Researcher Philip Hayward wants us Aussies to eat these creatures as they are the perfect candidate for this eco-culinary activism. From this we can help to slow down the havoc these Sea Urchins are causing our oceans eco-systems. These spiny ocean creatures do not only taste exquisite, but are high in omega three which is important in preventing and managing heart disease. They are low in calories, are considered an aphrodisiac and are said to contain euphoria-causing chemicals similar to that found in cannabis. With these health benefits why wouldn’t you want to try this delicious briny delicacy?

Mr Hayward says that commercial harvesting could prove to be a better alternative and a more effective control strategy than the millions of dollars being aimed at smashing, baiting and relocation programs.

Here at Sea Urchin Harvest, on any given day, our Sea Urchin diver, Chris Theodore, will search between Ulludulla in NSW, to Mallacoota in Victoria and spend at least five hours under water sourcing the best Sea Urchins. Typically Chris would average around 200kg an hour of live Sea Urchins. Chris has been diving off the waters off the South East Coast ever since he was a little boy and he has now been diving commercially for over 25 years.

With the processing plant located on his property at Tomakin in NSW, Chris is able to deliver his premium grade Sea Urchins, within hours, while also overseeing all quality control. This means Chris can deliver the freshest and most premium Sea Urchin Roe products in Australia the same day.

The fresh and delicious Sea Urchin Roe can be consumed in a number of ways. Most commonly you find Sea Urchin Roe perched on top of rice as sushi. For a first experience this is a great way to get the full flavour of uni. Sea Urchin Roe can also be used in a variety of dishes from pastas, sauces, risottos and more!

About Sea Urchin Harvest

Sea Urchin Harvest sells premium Sea Urchin Uni & Sea Urchin Roe from Australia’s iconic east coast. All of our Uni is caught fresh and delivered fresh to you! If you have any questions about ordering Sea Urchin Uni for your commercial business please get in contact via the Contact Us Page or alternatively call us on 0414 441 136.




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