Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
short-spined sea urchin
This common sea urchin has a hard exoskeleton with numerous sharp spines protruding from it. Most often a pale purple in colour but also occurs in pink and light olive green. The mouth is on the underside of the body.
Recommended voluntary size limit of 75mm, which is consistent with the commercial size limit.
Recommended bag limit of 50 purple sea urchins for sustainability.
Found in a variety of habitats from sheltered intertidal areas down to deeper waters up to 35 metres. They attach themselves to boulders, rock crevices, reefs, seagrass beds and muddy bottom. Urchins graze on seagrass and algae and can form aggregations known as barrens.
Not commonly targeted by recreational divers in Tasmania though often observed in depths up to 15 metres. The purplish exoskeleton is found by beachcombers washed up around the Tasmanian coast, usually without the spines.
Take care if handling as their fragile spines can puncture skin and remain embedded.
The roe is edible but its quality can vary seasonally.
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550