Sea Urchin Breeding

Sea urchins are probably some of the most under-appreciated residents of the reef.  After all, we are taught to stay away from their sharp, sometimes poisonous, needle-like spines right?  Yet, sea urchins are important to the well-being of reef communities.  They are herbivores and eat algae and seaweed.  On reefs, they keep the amount of algae and seaweed growth controlled.  Without urchins, the algae and seaweed might smother corals.  Collector urchins are native to Hawai’i and can be found statewide.  They have been bred in captivity to help keep algae and seaweed growth down in Kāne’ohe Bay.  Anuenue Fisheries on Sand Island is the first to breed and release collector urchins successfully in the islands.  It plans to release up to 25,000 urchins per month into the bay to control the growth of invasive seaweed of the genus Kappaphycus (smothering seaweed).

Advertisements

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: