Sea urchin harvesting peak in spring Lake Saroma

At Eastern Hokkaido’s Lake Saroma, the harvest season for the short-spined sea urchin is in full swing. Harvesting is being conducted robustly, using a method of collecting sea urchins from the lake floor by pulling nets fitted with iron claws.

Lake Saroma sea urchin harvesting is being conducted by the three fishery cooperatives of Yubetsu, Tokoro, and Saroma. This year, it started on April 12. Approximately 400 kilograms were harvested on May 28 at the Yubetsu Fishing Cooperative Toetoko Fishing Port.

Yubetsu Fishing Cooperative Sea Urchin Division Chairperson started working from 5:00 in the morning. After harvesting the daily target of approximately 100 kilograms and returning to the Port, he returned home and started packing and shipping work together with his family of four. They crack the shell, scoop out the meat with a spoon, and pick out unwanted bits with tweezers.

The Division Chairperson reported, “Lake Saroma sea urchin is not very well known, but it is delicious, so I want people to give it a try.”

The trade price for that day was around 1,700 yen for 1 tray (100 grams). One saltwater pack (100 grams) was 840 – 1,650 yen depending on the grade. The values are reportedly higher than last year, and the Yubetsu Fishing Cooperative explains, “Online orders have increased immensely, and stay-home consumption is probably having an impact.”

Lake Saroma sea urchin harvesting is scheduled to continue until the end of June, except for late May when the area is busy with young scallop stocking. The maximum harvest quantity for all three Cooperatives together is approximately 35 tons, which is the same as last year.


Lake Saroma