Monday, July 14, 2014

Marine experts urge Australians to eat more sea urchins to save environment (is said to contain euphoria-causing chemicals similar to that found in cannabis)

Marine experts are urging Australians to eat more sea urchins and help the environment at the same time, local media reported on Monday.

Australian sea urchin fishermen are doing great business with the Chinese market, but researchers hope Australians can develop a taste for the seafood in order to create more demand, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) reported.

If there was more demand, more sea urchins would be removed from sensitive reef areas where they are devouring kelp and in turn depleting lobster and abalone stocks.

In Australia, the sea urchin is yet to find favor with locals, but researcher Philip Hayward said they are a tasty treat.

"When they're fresh it almost deliquesces in your mouth, you feel it kind of fizzing and dissolving," he said.

"A Japanese colleague, one of his turn of phrases was 'eating a raw sea urchin was like sharing an intimate kiss with the ocean'."

  • The sea creature is a staple in Pacific islanders' diets, high in omega three, low in calories, an aphrodisiac and is said to contain euphoria-causing chemicals similar to that found in cannabis.
He said given the havoc they cause to reefs, commercial harvesting might prove a far more effective control strategy than the millions of dollars being poured into smashing, baiting and relocation programs.

"The funding that comes for them is for short-term initiatives, but as soon as leave them then they'll start re-growing there," he said.

"You really need an approach which sees people regularly going to actually remove these."

 Sources: Xinhua -


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