News On Japan

Sea Urchins Turning Oceans into Deserts

Jun 23 (News On Japan) - Kinosaki Marine World in Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture, is facing a crisis as its once vibrant marine environment is turning into a desert-like scene due to a surge in purple sea urchins, which are consuming vast amounts of seaweed. This has significantly reduced habitats and spawning grounds for fish, leading to broader ecological issues across Japan.

To address this, the marine world staff, led by veteran Ito, are actively removing the overpopulated sea urchins to allow seaweed to regrow. They have also introduced a new tank featuring baby red seaweed, aiming to cultivate and eventually replant them in the sea.

Additionally, the marine park uses discarded cabbage to feed the sea urchins, which are then offered as a delicacy to visitors, encouraging population control through consumption. These efforts are part of a broader initiative to restore the marine ecosystem and reduce greenhouse gases by promoting seaweed growth.

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