Long-Spined Sea Urchin

sea-urchin long spined
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit-


possession limit-


boat limit-

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size

Measured as the maximum diameter of the test (the hard shell), excluding the spines.

Other names

black urchin, spiny sea urchin, hollow-spined urchin

Scientific name

Centrostephanus rodgersii

Grows to

Up to


Identifying features

​The exoskeleton or body is a deep brown-red to black colour with long needle-like spines protruding from it.  These hollow spines can reach 9 cm in length and are a dark purplish to black colour with an iridescent green tinge.  The mouth is on the underside of the body.


Take care if handling as their fragile spines can puncture skin and remain embedded.


Long-spined sea urchins live around intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 35 metres.

Fishing information

Long-spined sea urchins are an invasive species that is known to overgraze on seaweeds and algae which are a key habitat for abalone and rock lobster. Research is underway to test the potential of large rock lobster which predates on the urchin as an effective natural control to reduce urchin numbers.  Two long-spined sea urchin research areas exist at Elephant Rock near St Helens and North Bay on the Forestier Peninsula where possession of specially marked rock lobster is not allowed.


The roe is edible but its quality can vary seasonally.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

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Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au