Lead Agency: Dr John Keane,  Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)

End Date: 1 March 2020

Status: IN PROGRESS

Aims and Objectives:

Urchin harvesting is currently the most significant control measure utilised to mitigate the spread of urchin barrens. Over $550k in subsidies provided to the industry since 2016 has resulted in over 700t of urchin being landed. Of this, approximately 500t is waste, which comprises shells, spines, guts and liquid moisture. Dumping costs are currently in excess of $200t equating to $100k spent on disposal thus far. Eliminating dumping costs and turning the waste into a saleable product is an obvious means to increasing industry profitability and decreasing the need for a subsidy. The aim of this project is to establish commercial processing of urchin waste, and test two key waste streams as an agricultural product on commercial crops: dried solids as a soil conditioner/fertiliser, and liquids to use as a foliar spray to enhance frost resistance.

Further information will be provided soon.

Featured image: Scott Ling, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

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