The red and purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus spp.) is a high priced species in the Asian market, and Baja California produces about 2 thousand metric tons (about 4 million pounds) of this shellfish every year, said Governor Kiko Vega who has applied several public policies to support the commercialization of this product to independent and organized licensed producers of the state.
A commercial mission, headed by Mitsui & Company, Genta Takino, who visited the State to get acquainted with the red and purple sea urchin, headed by Jorge Alcalá, manager of Mitsui Mexico´s operation, they were guided by the Fisheries Director of Baja California, Roberto Flores Aguilar, on behalf of the Fishing Secretary of the State, Matías Arjona.
The main sites where for this species to be exploited are all over the Pacific beach, mainly in Playas de Rosarito, EL Sauzal, Ensenada, Santo Tomás, Eréndira, San Quintín and El Rosario, where there are plants operating where the sea urchin is processed, sorted and packed in an export operation to Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States.
There have been intense tasks undertaken to grow the urchin population by means of aquaculture techniques to keep the volume levels, maintain quality and guarantee sustainability of the fishery activity, transporting whole population colonies to places with more algae available as food, market diversification and value aggregation, with state and federal aid.
Maribel Camacho, manager of the Urchin Production System of Baja California talked about the trade potential of this species, among other advantages, the packing process, in Baja California it doesn´t use additives top conserve as other countries do.