Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Saint Lucia Sea urchin fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
WECAFC Fishery Resources Report 2020
Saint Lucia Sea urchin fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Sea Urchin fishery
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>

Overview: The regulations prohibit the harvesting of sea eggs during 9 months of the year (December 1 to August 31), but even during the remaining three months they can only be harvested with the written permission of the Chief Fisheries Officer.

Location of Saint Lucia Sea urchin fishery

Geographic reference:  Saint Lucia
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2018
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Gear nei
Type of production system: Commercial; Artisanal
Fishery Area: Saint Lucia

Seasonality: August to November

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Sea egg

Means of Production
Vessel Type: Other fishing vessels
Fishery Indicators
Production: Landed Volume; Ex-vessel price

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Commercial; Artisanal   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Tropical.   Bottom type: Seagrass; Coral reef.   Depth zone: Coastal - Close shore, littoral (0 m - 20 m).   Horizontal distribution: Littoral.   Vertical distribution: Benthic.  

Geo References
Vessel Type
Other fishing vessels
Harvesters target this resource by skin diving and collecting urchins by hand off the seabed; divers may swim directly offshore or use a vessel to facilitate harvesting.

3-4 skin divers.
Flag State
Saint Lucia
Fishing Gear
Gear nei
Hand collection from skin diving.
Related Fisheries - Fishery(ies) switching activity seasonally or targeting the same stock
Saint Lucia Whelk fishery
August to November

Environmental limitations

Critical habitats for sea urchins are steadily being destroyed by the impacts of poor land use and management practices. High levels of sediment reaching the nearshore, especially during heavy rains, have resulted in the destruction and degradation of some critical sea urchin habitat.
Laborie, Micoud, Dennery, Vieux Fort.
Fisherfolks Community
Saint Lucia nationals
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
ProductionLanded Volume 0.529tonnes1995
Landed Volume 0.931tonnes2001
Landed Volume 8.73tonnes2002
Landed Volume 8.46tonnes2003
Landed Volume 2.56tonnes2004
Landed Volume 1.35tonnes2009
Landed Volume 22438 (lbs of roe)tonnes2015
Landed Volume 5461.6 (lbs of roe)tonnes2016
Landed Volume 1003 (lbs of roe)tonnes2018
Ex-vessel price6.667USD1995
Ex-vessel price22.593USD2001
Ex-vessel price213.855USD2002
Ex-vessel price128.087USD2003
Ex-vessel price48.309USD2004
Post Harvest
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Fisheries Department of Saint Lucia
Mandate: Management.  
Area of Competence: Saint Lucia
Maritime Area: National waters.  
Management Regime
Management Methods

National regulations; with focus on Effort control, Fish size limits; - Binding

Co-management arrangement in place; minimum test size for a given harvest period based on pre-harvest population surveys; no harvesting in any marine reserve; use of SCUBA prohibited; all Sea urchins to be brought to shore for breaking and processing; all harvesters and cleaners to provide data on sizes, weights and/or number to Department of Fisheries upon request.
  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum fish size
  • Gear-related measures
    Use of SCUBA is prohibited.
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Closed season and area (fishing in marine reserves is prohibited); harvest period usually between August and November and varies considerably in duration depending on pre-harvest population surveys conducted by the Fisheries Department.
Status and Trends
The sea urchin fishery is seasonal based on abundance after a density survey is conducted.
Source of Information
Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries, Co-operatives and Rural Development, Saint Lucia. Personal communication, July 2020.  Click to open
De Beauville-Scott, S. 2008. St. Lucia National Sea Egg Country Report. January 2008. Department of Fisheries. 12 pp.
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