Sea urchins protect coral reef in Kaneohe Bay

Sea urchins are helping to protect our coral reefs.

Researchers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources have been using sea urchins to combat fast-growing seaweeds in Kaneohe bay which harm coral.

It’s part two of their two-tiered system to combat invasive seaweed in the bay.

The first part was using the super sucker which is a large vacuum pump that sucked up the seaweed from coral reefs.

“These are native animals that we are using to fight an alien species. People leave the sea urchins alone if they see them in Kaneohe Bay because they are there to eat the algae, which brings the coral back, more fish, more tako, everything,” DLNR Aquatic Invasive Species Program Reef Restoration Field Supervisor Jono Blodgett.

Since 2011, researchers have released more than 100,000 juvenile sea urchins into the bay.

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