Australian scientists will develop food and fertilizer from the long-spined sea urchin
Frozen Sea Urchin
Innovation & Technology
Published Nov 9, 2023
A task force in Australia is aiming to combat long-spined sea urchins by creating an industry around processing the invasive species. The plan includes harvesting the sea urchins for its caviar, a valuable resource that fetches a high price. The task force is also exploring other uses for the sea urchin, such as organic fertilizers and aquaculture feed.
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The long-spined urchin task force included government and scientific organizations, including Australia's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC). The work of representatives from more than 30 stakeholders resulted in a five-year business plan that requires a national investment of US$55 million. To reduce threats to the health of the Great Southern Reef, it is proposed to create a separate industry for the extraction and processing of long-spined sea urchin. Firstly, the harvest of this sea urchin species will create a new fishery for the Australian and international premium seafood market. The global sea urchin market is estimated to be worth approximately $495 million annually, with Japan being the major player, with a market share of approximately 70 percent. Sea urchins are a valuable resource, with their caviar selling for between $200 and $400 per kilogram. There is therefore a real opportunity for Australia to create local, national and international markets ...