Questionnaire Report for Red sea urchin

(MERA version 4.1.6)

Abdul Ben-Hasan ()


1 About this document

This is a prototype of an automatic report that documents how the user specified the operating model and their various justifications.

2 Introduction

  1. Describe the history and current status of the fishery, including fleets, sectors, vessel types and practices/gear by vessel type, landing ports, economics/markets, whether targeted/bycatch, other stocks caught in the fishery. (from Dewees (2004) paper included in “Supporting docs” folder) “California has had a large and valuable kelp harvesting industry since the early twentieth century. In the early years, kelp was utilized for producing ingredients for explosives, but later became a useful component of many industrial products. By the 1950s the kelp industry and fishermen interested in kelp bed fishes and abalone were concerned about the potentially harmful effects of sea urchin grazing on kelp. Sea urchin eradication programs were implemented using calcium oxide and physical destruction and some kelp beds were restored (North 1965). In 1968, the National Marine Fisheries Service examined the feasibility of developing a sea urchin fishery. After intense efforts by Susumu Kato of NMFS and others to develop processing capability, coupled with a stronger Japanese yen, the fishery began in earnest in 1973 with landings were approximately 1,600 t (Kato and Schroeter 1985). During these years the details of marketing in Japan, air shipping and processing were worked out. 5 The fishery grew steadily to over 11,200 t by 1981, but dipped to under 7,000 t during the intense El Niño of the early 1980s (Kalvass and Rogers-Bennett 2001). Practically all landings were in southern California because the processing and air shipment capability was centered there. By 1985, the combination of a relatively stronger yen, increased market demand and decreases in available supplies from the Japanese fishery, it became economically feasible to harvest, process and ship the northern California sea urchins. By 1988, landings of from virgin fishing grounds soared to 13,605 t pushing the statewide landings to 23,600 t (Figure 2).” The red sea urchin is targeted primarily by divers - a highly selective fishery.

  2. Describe the stock’s ecosystem functions, dependencies, and habitat types. (from paper: “Red sea urchins are found on the west coast of North America as far south as the tip of Baja California, although their abundance declines south of lat. 27”N (Malagrino Lumare, 1972). They range northward to Sitka and Kodiak, Alaska, and along the Asiatic coast as far south as the southern tip of Hokkaido Island, Japan (McCauley and Carey, 1967). Off the California coast, dense concentrations occur patchily throughout the state. Notable exceptions are those areas off central California where sea otters, Enhydra lurris, a major predator of sea urchins, are abundant (McLean, 1962; E. E. Ebert, 1968; Lowry and Pearse, 1973)"

  3. Provide all relevant reference materials, such as assessments, research, and other analysis.
  4. Dewees paper in “Supporting docs” folder
  5. Paper:
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3 Fishery Characteristics

3.1 Longevity

Very short-lived (5 < maximum age < 7)
Short-lived (7 < maximum age < 10)
Moderate life span (10 < maximum age < 20)
Moderately long-lived (20 < maximum age < 40)
Long-lived (40 < maximum age < 80)
Very long-lived (80 < maximum age < 160)
Longevity is hard to determine for this species. Natural mortality fluctuates from 0.064 to 0.8 (see paper: However, a study suggests that this species is long-lived and slow growing, based on modeling its growth (takes 7 years to enter the fishery).

3.2 Stock depletion

Crashed (D < 0.05)
Very depleted (0.05 < D < 0.1)
Depleted (0.1 < D < 0.15)
Moderately depleted (0.15 < D < 0.3)
Healthy (0.3 < D < 0.5)
Underexploited (0.5 < D)
No information was found on stock depletion. But assessment reports suggest that this stock is of moderate concern based on no signs of overfishing and no quantitative assessment ( Older reports show a stable cpue (

3.3 Resilence

Not resilient (steepness < 0.3)
Low resilience (0.3 < steepness < 0.5)
Moderate resilence (0.5 < steepness < 0.7)
Resilient (0.7 < steepness < 0.9)
Very Resilient (0.9 < steepness)
No information was found on steepness.