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ThesisUniversity of Akureyri>Viðskipta- og raunvísindasvið>Meistaraprófsritgerðir>

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/8709

Title

Management and utilization of Green Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) in Eyjafjörður, Northern Iceland

Published
May 2011
Abstract

In this thesis the feasibility of harvesting green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus
droebachiensis) in Eyjafjörður fjord, north Iceland is explored. Fishing methods,
regulations, processing and markets area are reviewed from various sources, including
interviews with people that participated in sea urchin fisheries around Iceland in the
1990´s. Sea urchins were sampled in Eyjafjörður by the author over a two year period,
primarily to investigate the size, gonad yield, gonad colour and density. Three research
areas were sampled, split into three different sites (in kelp, along kelp, out of kelp).
Results show that the gonad yield was highest in mid to late winter and spawning
started in April. The market demands gonad yield of at least 10% and this did occur
only for a small part of the year. There was little difference between areas, but the
gonad yield in 2010 was considerably lower than in 2009 and spawning did occur
earlier. Result for gonad colour shows that 46% end up in first class, the smallest sea
urchins had the best colour quality. The value of sea urchin roe is around $40/kg and by
far the largest market is in Japan. The second largest market is in France. However, the
high quality markets are demanding and the processing is labour intensive. Based on
this, harvesting sea urchins in Eyjafjörður is not feasible at this point because of low
gonad yield, poor regulation to protect the pioneers and high processing cost. It is
suggested that by reducing the number of sea urchins in Eyjafjörður, allowing the kelp
forest to grow larger the quality of the sea urchins would increase, but this is not
feasible if proper regulations about harvesting are not in place.

Issued Date
24/05/2011


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