As Northern California's kelp forests collapse, so goes the coastal ecosystem

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are those urchin edible?


So… is anybody bothering to actually breed different varieties of kelp?

There are many many species, but that doesn’t make the forest come back, does it? Kelp has been farmed for decades, but I don’t know if this species is tasty. Eating the urchins might be our best bet.


I’m sure capitalism is working on a solution right now…


Most sea urchins have edible gonads, and the purple sea urchins that are out-competing everything were eaten by native Californians. The article mentions an important fishery for red sea urchins, but not the purple ones, apparently because they are too small to bother. I found a book on the subject that mentions another problem too: in barrens where kelp are gone, urchins tend to have poor quality gonads, making them even less attractive as food. So they were skeptical that we might eat our way out of such problems.


Interesting stuff and it lead me to this
It seems urchins in kelp beds have gonads 3 times larger than the same species living in barrens.
Is this a problem that calls for more sea otters as a solution? I hope so. I love watching those little scamps.


Interesting article, long though. Key facts toward the end:

Aerial surveys of the coastline from San Francisco to the Oregon border show that kelp forests now cover 93 percent less surface area than in past peak years such as 2008 and 1989 …

kelp die-offs usually occur on a relatively small scale, in isolated areas or in more of a patchwork, Catton said. “They’re not hundreds of miles of coastline …

the species is built to recover, producing billions of spores that can persist in the ocean for some period of time before reproduction …

Exactly how long those seeds remain viable is unclear, however, and recolonization of such a vast area could be very slow


I don’t know what they taste like, but it can’t be as delightful as saying “edible purple urchin”.


If they taste anything like the urchin roe (uni) sushi I’ve had then yeah, it’s even more delightful.


Lies! Urchins are filled with snot! Even sea cucumbers think they’re gross.


It can be two things. Tasty and gross/filled with snot

Don’t you ever wonder why no one comes back for your second cooking class?

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Yes, is it those two things at the same time or more to mutual exclusion?
Also… so…blanched or lightly cooked? And as orange as starfish gonads.

Turmeric pickle side, please!

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That’s because you’re going about it all wrong. You need to convince people purple urchins are very refined. They’re made with sea salt, you know.

Call it uni murasaki.

If there was a market for kelp forests, we would have them already. Better and higher quality for lower cost (tongue in cheek). :laughing:

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Afaik kelp is harvested in southern California.

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I try to cook one eldritch tentacled beast from beyond and suddenly I am a pariah!

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