The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a lottery April 25 to award one sea urchin commercial harvest permit. Interested harvesters must apply by April 15.
ODFW issues 30 sea urchin permits per year. One harvester chose not to renew the permit this year and administrative rules allow a lottery to be held to issue the final permit.
Sea urchins are harvested by hand by divers off the southern Oregon coast. In 2002, 800,000 pounds were harvested for the Japanese sushi market. The product is marketed as "uni."
Applicants must be 18 years of age to be eligible. Applications may be obtained at ODFW offices where commercial fishing licenses are sold in Astoria, Charleston, Newport and Portland. Applications must be post-marked by April 15 and be accompanied by a $75 application fee. They should be sent to ODFW License Services, P.O. Box 59, Portland, OR 97207. If the applicant is successful, the application fee will apply to the annual permit fee of $75.
Questions about the permit process should be directed to Jean McCrae at the ODFW office in Newport at (541) 867-4741.