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Changes To Maine's Sea Urchin Harvest Approved For 2019-20

Maine fishing regulators say they've approved a host of small tweaks to the rules about the state's fishery for sea urchins.

Fishermen harvest sea urchins so their roe can be used as food. It's especially popular in Asia. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says an advisory council has approved a package of changes to the number of days when fishermen can harvest the urchins and how many can be taken.

The rules apply to the 2019-20 fishing season, which begins in September.

The harvest of urchins has been steady in Maine for the last several years. Harvesters usually bring in about 2 million pounds per year valued between $5 million and $7 million at the docks. The harvest was much larger in the 1990s, once topping 40 million pounds.