Feasibility of Urchin Aquaculture in a Cage System

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Project Type: 

Students Involved:

Michelle Moody UNH - Department of Biological Sciences
Katy Phillips University of New Hampshire
Jill Torregiani University of New Hampshire
Ellen Kubinec University of New Hampshire
Jon Villeneuve University of New Hampshire
Chris Stanley University of New Hampshire

Faculty Advisors:

Larry Harris UNH - Department of Biological Sciences
Godfrey Savage University of New Hampshire

This student research and design project studied the bulking process of urchins in several proposed systems as a means of meeting consumer demand for sea urchin roe, a delicacy in Japan and France. A prototype cage was created for the initial, short term bulking of the urchins. Twelve hundred pounds of urchins were bulked in the cage for a period of ten weeks. This resulted in an average percent roe content of 20.41%, an increase of 60.91%, over roe content of 13.5% taken when they were first collected. The survivorship of the urchins was greater than 95%. An economic analysis using hypothetical prices showed an investment in a bulking operation would yield 35-130%, indicating aquaculture could be performed on a large scale and be profitable.


Available from the National Sea Grant Library (use NHU number to search) or NH Sea Grant


  • Feasibility of urchin aquaculture in a cage system (1998). Michelle Moody, Katy Phillips, Jill Torregiani, Ellen Kubinec and Jon Villeneuve.