Longspined Sea Urchin Status

Status

Longspined Sea Urchin
Centrostephanus rodgersii

Illustration©R.Swainston/anima.fish

2020/21 Assessment Summary

STOCK STATUS
SUSTAINABLE


Stock
Longspined Sea Urchin Fishery


Indicators
Catch, effort, CPUE trends and transects.


Fishing mortality in the longspined sea urchin fishery is represented by the use of catch (tonnes) as a proxy. In the most recent season 2020/21 annual catch was 497 tonnes. An increase of almost fivefold from the first 10 years of the fishery since 2009 and the second highest catch in the history of the fishery. The region with the highest catch is St Helens, consistent with previous years.

There is no evidence of biomass depletion through the observed catch rates, however the standardised catch rate appears to have levelled off when examining the whole east coast and has dropped slightly in the most heavily fished blocks in the northeast. In addition, the mean depth of the fishery has increased over time, suggesting depletion of stock in the shallower depths.

Biomass in the longspined sea urchin fishery is indicated by two methods: extrapolation from counts obtained from fishery-independent transect surveys; and trends in catch per unit effort (CPUE). Biomass assessed by fishery independent transect data has increased over the last two decades. State-wide CPUE has not decreased over the span of the fishery from the first 2008/2009 season to the most recent 2020/2120 season even in the most heavily fished blocks.

Learn more about stock status classifications on our Stock Status Classifications Information Page.