Red Sea Urchin Management and Research


In 1996, ADF&G and the sea urchin industry developed interim regulations and a management plan for the commercial urchin fishery in Southeast Alaska. This plan was implemented during the 1996/1997 season. The regulations were adopted by the commissioner under authority of 5 AAC 39.210 for High Impact Emerging Fisheries and became effective in December 1996. In 1997, the Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted the red sea urchin management plan. The core elements are:

  1. Annual guideline harvest levels are 6% of the biomass estimate. Fisheries will only be opened where biomass surveys have been conducted in the previous six years.
  2. Harvest opportunities are to be distributed to each week of every month that the fishery is open. The fishery is to be managed to span approximately four months, subject to needs for conservation, law enforcement, reducing waste, and promoting fishery development. Size limits and trip limits may be imposed if needed to slow the pace of the fishery.
  3. In addition to fish ticket requirements, processors must submit records of the roe recovery within 30 days of landing.

Additional information about sea cucumber management can be found on our Commercial Sea Urchin Dive Fisheries webpage.


See Southeast Commercial Dive Fisheries for red sea urchin research.