A commercially viable sea urchin fishery is valuable in the restoration of the kelp forest, and fish habitat.
Sea Urchin Harvest has been dedicated to the environment and sustainability since we launched in 2008. Our goal to restore the local kelp forest and fish habitat (which has been lost to the Centrostephanus rodgersii urchin along the east coast of Australia) via a commercially viable sea urchin fishery, has proven a great success.
Sea Urchin Harvest is a company that takes a positive stand for marine life. Sea urchins play a key ecological role in determining the distribution and abundance of benthic macro algae, particularly kelps. But when urchin population numbers get out of control the results are devastating for the reefs and fish habitat.
The Centrostephanus rodgersii urchin is located in very large numbers up and down the south east coast of Australia. Its very destructive feeding behavior is characterized by dense feeding aggregations (or fronts) of large individuals migrating across the substratum at speeds of 1 to 4 m per month, consuming all erect algae and creating barrens where sea urchins are able to live for decades with very little food supply.
The importance of the kelp forest for reproduction and survival of commercially valuable species of fish and crustaceans (abalone and lobster) is the reason why Centrostephanus rodgersii sea urchins are considered a pest up and down the south east coast of Australia.
When the sea urchins are removed from the barrens, by hand by our commercial divers, seaweeds rapidly colonize the substratum. Thus improving the fish habitat.
In areas that have been commercially harvested for urchin, the kelp forest regenerates in a matter of a year or two. Thus the productivity of the kelp forest is restored by a commercial fishery capable of significantly reducing the Centrostephanus rodgersii sea urchin population.
Sea Urchin Harvest is a company that takes pride in its holistic view of the sustainability of the industry. The people and the environment. It is all connected and both vital to the longevity of the industry.
Sustainability generally is a characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely. And this is our goal at Sea Urchin Harvest.
Longevity - Sustainability. Sustainability of the industry relies on care and respect for our staff, for our reefs and for our marine life.
We are one of the few businesses that truly can say ‘WE ARE SUSTAINABLE’. A true WIN WIN WIN!!! Win for Employment. Win for the Environment/Fish Habitat. And Win for the consumer.
Employment: The process of harvesting and processing and distributing sea urchin roe is very labour intensive. We provide many jobs to regional N.S.W. Environment: By carefully harvesting sea urchin by hand and only picking the best urchins for market, we are helping to restore local fish habitat.
By picking the best urchin and leaving the rest to fatten we also improve productivity of the fishery and quality of the roe.
And the consumer WINS, as they can enjoy great tasting sea urchin roe and know that they are helping create jobs and improve the local marine environment.
Sea Urchin Harvest has been recognised for its contribution to the environment by being awarded the Excellence in Environmental Practice at the recent 2017 Sydney Fish Market Excellence Awards. Click here to learn about our award.
Contact Diver for further information.