March 22, 2018
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Maine’s sea urchin harvest about average in 2017

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
In this Dec. 22, 2011 photo, orange roe is seen inside a sea urchin at a processing facility in Portland, Maine.
The Associated Press

BREWER, Maine — Regulators say Maine fishermen’s sea urchin harvest was about in line with recent averages in 2017.

Fishermen in Maine, California, Alaska and other states harvest sea urchins for their roe, which is used as food. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says fishermen in the state harvested a little less than 2 million pounds of urchins last year.

Maine fishermen have harvested 1.9 million to 2.1 million pounds of urchins every year since 2012. The fishery went through a boom in harvest in the 1990s that was followed by a sharp decline in the 2000s.

The fishery was worth about $6.1 million last year, which was also about in line with recent trends. The Sea Urchin Zone Council is meeting on March 22 to set specifications for the 2018-19 season.

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