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Commercial scale sea urchin roe enhancement in Norway: Enhancement, transport and market assessment

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Kjetil Aune


Tromsø: Nofima AS 2017 (ISBN 978-82-8296-490-6) 24, p. Nofima rapportserie (7/2017)

James, Philip; Evensen, Tor Hatten; Samuelsen, Arne

This report describes a commercial scale sea urchin roe enhancement trial run in collaboration between Nofima and Lyngsskjellan AS. It was conducted in Lyngen, northern Norway, utilizing urchins harvested in Tromsø, the SeaNest holding system and the Nofima sea urchin roe enhancement feed. The urchins showed a significant increase in gonad index (GI) over the 10 week enhancement period (from an initial GI of 3.9 % to a final enhanced GI of 20.3 %) which is a typical increase for this species, fed this diet over 10 weeks. The survival of the urchins was lower at the conclusion of the trial compared to previous trials undertaken by Nofima and it appears there may have been a stress event occurring for the urchins between the 5 week and 10 week samples. After 10 weeks of enhancement, the urchins were harvested and distributed to restaurants in Norway and a sea urchin processor in Hokkaido, Japan for quality assessment. The results from the Norwegian restaurants showed the urchins were considered good quality for 3 of the 4 restaurants. The Japanese processor assessed the urchins and found they were in good condition post transport, they had good colour, but were rather soft and did not have a strong, or sweet flavour. They sold the sample on the Tsukiji Seafood Market and the results showed that the product sold for the mid-range price for imported urchins of this species. The transport techniques used and the market value of the sea urchin product are discussed in the final sections of the report.

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