Nofima, Norway:

Nofima is a research institute based in a number of locations around Norway. It employs 400 staff which are divided into three divisions: Aquaculture; Fisheries, Industry and Markets; and Food Science. Nofima has a number of facilities in Norway and the main office of Nofima is based in Tromsø in northern Norway.

Nofima has extensive experience related to the culture of sea urchins with two senior research scientists that have a combined 28 years of sea urchin research between them.

Dr Philip James has researched all aspects of sea urchin fishing and echinoculture for more than 15 years. Firstly, at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington, New Zealand. He then came to Nofima in Tromsø in 2009 where he is employed as a research scientist at NOFIMA, focusing on sea urchin culture and the culture of other invertebrates.

He has over 30 publications in refereed journals, extensive experience in working alongside commercial partners (SME’s) in both Norway and New Zealand, and has led a number of government and SME funded sea urchin projects over several years.

Dr Sten Siikavuoipio has a similar publication and research background on all aspects of sea urchin farming and roe enhancement. Nofima has close ties with a number of other institutes from around the world which are also investigating sea urchin culture including researchers in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

Matis, Iceland:

MATIS is a public commercial food research company founded in Iceland in 2007, following the merger of three public food research institutes. The role of MATIS is to engage in food research, innovation and safety to increase the value of food through research, development, dissemination of knowledge and consultancy.

MATIS specialised fields include fisheries research, fisheries management, traceability, markets, processing technology, environmental research, quality and safety of aquatic and marine catches, chemical and physical properties of food and feed, genetics, aquaculture, biotechnology, microbiological & chemical and consulting. MATIS has state of the art laboratories performing cutting edge research in close collaboration with various Universities, Institutes and Industry in Iceland and throughout the world.

Matis is currently participating in ResURCH, Research & technological development to improve economic profitability & environmental sustainability of sea urchin farming, a FP7 Capacities framework project. Matis has participated in several national research and development projects on sea urchins.

Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Ireland:

GMIT is a Higher Education Institute in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Within GMIT is the Marine & Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC), which has a successful track record working with fisheries and commercial aquaculture enterprises in Ireland.

Mr Colin Hannon is a PhD researcher in aquaculture at the MFRC since 2010. Prior to this he has worked in different aspects of aquaculture from hatchery management to the design of on-growing systems for oyster, clams, abalone, sea urchins & sea cucumbers.

The focus of his research at the MFRC, in collaboration with Ireland’s commercial sea urchin and abalone industry, to increase productivity using live algal settlement substrates by improving production processes. Achieving real efficiencies in commercial aquaculture requires that production systems be considered in their entirety. GMIT combines its particular expertise in biology, economics, engineering and environmental sciences to optimise the productivity of aquaculture systems, whilst minimising energy consumption, environmental impact and life cycle costs.

GMIT conducts its aquaculture research in close collaboration with Ireland’s commercial aquaculture industry. We work together with industry to improve productivity by enhancing hatchery management, improving production processes, and developing on-growing and holding systems (with particular expertise in oyster, clams, abalone, sea urchins & sea cucumbers).

Marine Research Institute (MRI), Iceland:

MRI is a government institute, established in 1965, under the auspices of the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation. MRI conducts various marine researches and provides the Ministry with scientific advice based on its research on marine resources and the environment.

The institute has around 170 employees, 2 research vessels, 5 branches around Iceland and a mariculture laboratory.

The three main areas of activities of the MRI are the following:

  1. to conduct research on the marine environment around Iceland and its living resources
  2. to provide advice to the government on catch levels and conservation measures
  3. to inform the government, the fishery sector and the public about the sea and its living resources.

In the last decades, the MRI has acquired considerable experience with the multispecies modelling for ecosystem based management.

MRI cooperates with Icelandic universities on research and training in fisheries biology and ocenagography as well with foreign institutes and international organisations.

Dr Gudrun Thorarinsdóttir (research scientist) has worked at the institute for 20 years researching bottom dvelling species, focusing on fishery, biology, aquaculture and management. She has 36 publications in refereed jounals and extensive experience in cooperaton with other institutes around the world.

Arctic Caviar AS, Norway:

Arctic Caviar AS are involved in harvesting sea urchins, stock management, live holding of urchins, packing and logistics. Arctic Caviar have over a decade of experience in the sea urchin business in Norway and are the longest running fishing company operating in the country.

Thorisholmi, Iceland:

Thorisholmi is currently catching, processing and selling sea urchin and urchin roe to markets in Europe. They are the only company in Iceland utilising sea urchins.

Thorisholmi is participating in ReSURCH; Research & technological development to improve economic profitability & environmental sustainability of sea urchin farming under FP7.

Thorisholmi has participated in many domestic research projects on sea urchins in Iceland.

Royal Greenland, Greenland:

Royal Greenland is focussed on establishing a sea urchin fishery in Greenland. URCHIN project will be the ideal platform to do this in a holistic and sustainable manner. Royal Greenland will participate in all WP’s, will be a Co-leader on WP 6 and will host a project meeting in Greenland.

Royal Greenland has committed itself to the URCHIN project as a self-funded enterprise and is an integral partner in the project.

Associate partners:

  • Greenland Institute of Natural Sciences, Greenland
  • Scottish Association of Marine Sciences, Scotland
  • Lyngsskjellan AS, Norway
  • Treanbeg Shellfish Ltd, Ireland
  • Mullaghmore Sea farm Ltd, Ireland
  • Bord Iascaigh Mhara, (Irish Sea Fisheries Board), Ireland
  • NAFC Marine Centre, Shetland

Main partners

Associated partners