Fresh Whole Sea Urchin
10 Whole Live Sea Urchins Shipping Over Night
Urchins on the Pacific seafloor, including purple sea urchins, are important prey for sea otters and sea stars. Pacific purple sea urchins are also eaten by humans. The meat inside, known as “uni” in Japanese, is considered a sushi delicacy, and the demand for this delicacy has been growing in recent years.
Pacific purple sea urchins feed on kelp and are at least partially to blame for the deforestation of Northern California’s kelp forests due to their increasingly aggressive feeding behavior. Marine heatwaves have caused kelp forests declines, and helped give rise to what is known as increasing “urchin barrens,” or large swaths of seafloor that are overrun by kelp-feasting Pacific purple sea urchins and other species. This population explosion can also be credited to a climate change related sea star die-off in California waters, which otherwise would have helped keep the sea urchin population in check. The historical hunting of sea otters that prey on sea urchins for the fur trade also contributed to the urchin population increase.