We need to rethink the sea urchin
The Editor I note that concern is being expressed again in the prevalence of sea-urchin along our coastline.
Are we not, as does happen, treating as a menace something that could be an asset? Along the south coast of France some towns have annual festivals for the sea-urchin, that the French in their funny way call oursin. Locals love them, and tourists flock to those areas in their many thousands to devour what they see as a great delicacy. I’m told other peoples around the Mediterranean feel the same way about it.
So perhaps people involved in the Eurobodalla Coast tourism industry could look into the possibility of holding one, or more, such events here and bringing in income from something that could be costing much money to eradicate. Eric Wiseman, Moruya. Editors Note: We have the very answer at hand with our own internationally recognised Sea Urchin providers doing what they can to offer a solution. South Coast Sea Urchins is an Australian owned business specialising in the harvesting and processing of sea urchins. They are known for the quality and freshness of their product and their roe can be seen on the menu of many of the best restaurants in Australia. Their urchins are selectively hand harvested by experienced divers from the Far South coast of NSW through to Mallacoota, Port Phillip Bay and Tasmania. Situated at Pambula on the Far South Coast of New South Wales their fully licensed processing facility is ideally located providing the freshest sea urchin roe possible. Since being established in 2005 to help combat the ever increasing urchin population, SCSU has become one of Australia’s leading Sea Urchin processors and a major contributor to the regeneration of our shallow reef habitats. The sea urchin is devastating our shallow reef systems. Their sharp teeth and ferocious eating habits have the capacity to strip reefs bare of any vegetation, leaving nothing but an underwater desert, void of any marine life other than urchins. These vast areas are known as urchin barrens. The urchin barrens are having a major impact on the biodiversity of our reefs and the fisheries that are dependent on them such as abalone and lobster. Rather than limiting the catches and the areas where gathering is allowed the DPI and Marine Parks could actually become partners in industry development and a new product line to add to the Australian Oyster Coast