Red Sea Urchin

© Shutterstock

© Shutterstock

Latin Name

Strongylocentrotus franciscanus

Group Name

Invertebrates

Taxonomy details

Habitat

Red sea urchins are found in the Pacific Ocean, from the coast of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to Baja California in the east, and in the west, from Siberia to the northern reaches of Japan. They prefer rocky, protected areas of the ocean in shallow water close to shore, though occasionally they are found as deep as 100 metres. In Canada, the main fishery is located off the coast of British Columbia.

Species Description

Red sea urchins are spherical, covered with a tough shell bristling with pointy spines. Their colour varies from red to reddish-brown, dark burgundy or purple. They move around using special tube feet underneath their bodies that create suction. Also on their underside is a mouth with five teeth. Their shell-or "test"-can grow to a maximum of about 18 centimetres.

Red Sea Urchin

Integrated Fisheries Management Plans

Overview of the Fishery

Contacts

Pauline Ridings
Lead Resource Manager
Red sea urchin
250-756-7118
Pauline.Ridings@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Erin Wylie
Lead Resource Manager
Green sea urchin
250-756-7271
erin.wylie@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Claudia Hand
Science
Nanaimo
250-756-7139
Claudia.Hand@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Dan Leus
Science
Nanaimo
250-756-7147
Dan.Leus@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

For other sea urchin fishery departmental contacts, please consult the Shellfish Contacts page.