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Red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus), have been the principle target of the dive fishery. Purple urchins have also been harvested in some years, but over the course of the fishery they have accounted for less thant one percent of total landings.
The sharp decline in landings after the early 1990's indicates the depletion of virgin stocks combined with changes in markets and effort level.
Red urchins are primarily harvested between 25 and 75 feet of depth in rocky areas high in kelp production.
Orford reef (just Northwest of Port Orford) has historically been the most productive area.
Scott Groth - Marine Resources Program, Charleston
Phone: (541) 888-5515