Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Sea Urchin Commission to move forward

Following a referendum among producers, or divers, CDFA is announcing a continuation of the Sea Urchin Commission for the next five years.

The Commission is a California marketing program overseen by CDFA and authorized to conduct promotion and public relations, scientific research, governmental affairs, and educational activities relating to California’s sea urchin industry. These activities are funded by mandatory assessments levied upon all commercial sea urchin divers and handlers in the state.

Sea urchins are harvested in California by divers working relatively close to the coastline, generally in an area between Santa Barbara and San Diego, with some diving occurring near Fort Bragg in Northern California. Divers spend as long as eight-hours at a time underwater in search of sea urchins. Many of them have diversified into other fisheries that are similar, such as the sea cucumber and the spiny lobster.

Divers and handlers will revisit the question of whether or not to continue the Sea Urchin Commission in 2024.

CDFA oversees a total of 51 marketing programs that provide agricultural producers and handlers with an organizational structure, operating under government sanction, that allows them to solve production and marketing problems collectively that they could not address individually. 

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