Sea Urchins? Yes, sea urchins, also known as uni, grow along the sea floor in Maine’s cold ocean waters, where they are harvested by divers. The majority of Maine’s harvest is shipped overseas to Asian markets, where it is used for sushi.
This year, the state of Maine is requiring dealers to report sea urchin landings using eDR/mobile, a data collection program developed by Harbor Light Software for the Atlantic Coast Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP). This new program simplifies the dealer reporting process. The data is sent to the Maine Department of Marine Resources, where it is used for real-time quota monitoring and compliance tracking.
Harbor Light Software’s Fran Karp lead the eDR/mobile training. Fran, along with the state Department of Marine Resources representatives, showed how the software works on multiple devices. The dealers were able to test the software on Windows laptops, Android tablets and smartphones, as well as iPads and iPhones.
In order to sell their sea urchin catch, licensed harvesters are provided with a swipe card which they present to the dealers for verification. At the training, the dealers were hands-on with the technology - from the swipe card transaction through reporting to the state. The new software proved easy to use, and all agreed that it will streamline the reporting process.
The season for sea urchin runs from September until March. In 2015 Maine harvesters collected about 1.5 million pounds of urchins according to the Portland Press Herald.
Sea Urchin fishing is regulated in Maine due to conservation issues. To help maintain the spiny echinoderms population, harvesters must have a license. These licensed divers must hold to a strict limit on their catch, and must throw back any urchins measuring under 2 1/16” wide (not including spines).
In case you wondered…Uni, which is served raw, is actually the inner roe of the urchin. It is yellow-orange in color and the taste is described as buttery and briny, with a texture like custard. To prepare them for eating, the bottom part of the urchin is cut open, and the roe is removed to eat raw, or to prepare in sushi.
Uni, which is served raw, is actually the inner roe of the urchin. It is yellow-orange in color and the taste is described as buttery and briny, with a texture like custard. To prepare them for eating, the bottom part of the urchin is cut open, and the roe is removed to eat raw, or to prepare in sushi.
eDealer/mobile is just one of the Harbor Light Software products developed for the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP). Our data collection products play an integral role in the ACCSP’s efforts to maintain and preserve the fishing industry along the Atlantic coastline.