Sea Urchin Research Farmers: Variations in the green sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, by changing current to determine optimal conditions for future aquaculture purposes

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Project Type: 

Students Involved:

Erin Gordon-Hobbs UNH - Department of Biological Sciences
Jessica Kraft UNH - Department of Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisors:

Larry Harris UNH - Department of Biological Sciences

The objective of the research project was to study the variations in growth of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis by changing current to determine optimal conditions for future aquaculture purposes. Aquaculture studies are vital to aid in stock enhancement. For the purpose of this project, experiments were designed to successfully rear juvenile urchins in both the laboratory and the field. It is believed that water flow affects urchin growth positively (Simoneau et al., 1994). In order to simulate a natural environment in a controlled setting, pump and trough systems were set up in the laboratory. This would eliminate possible differences in food abundance, salinity, temperature and availability of light found in natural habitats.

A field experiment was designed to monitor growth in the natural environment using a suspended cage system, comparing growth in a known fast and slow water current. We did not obtain any specific laboratory results due to total mortality. The field experiment results concluded that a fast current environment may be more beneficial to growth. The knowledge gained from this project can be applicable to advances in the field of aquaculture.


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


  • Sea urchin research farmer (SURF) (2001). Jessica Kraft and Erin Gordon. Advisor: Larry Harris.