Feeding Sea Urchins Could Be One Way To Restore The West Coast’s Vital Kelp Forests

Purple Urchins

Considered a delicacy around the globe, sea urchins please the palates of the wealthy, showing up on sushi bars and swirled into pasta at fine restaurants. However, these spiny creatures in recent years have plowed through forests of bull kelp along coasts around the world.

Sea urchins pose a problem to kelp forests, which are an integral part of shoreline ecosystems because they provide food and shelter for fish, shellfish and sea otters. Bull kelp forests in Northern California decreased by more than 90% in 2014 because of warming waters, and they’ve been struggling to recover since then.

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