Can you eat the Sea...
 

Can you eat the Sea Urchins in the Virgin Islands?  

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ikory
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I see urchins in sushi restarants a lot. I have seen Andrew Zimmern eat them many times on the travel channel. I do not know the species common in the Virgin Islands and only thing I have read so far is you can eat all species just some taste really bad. So are sea urchins a tasty treat or should I avoid them at all cost?

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ikory
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We do have a fragile ecosystem and many newcomers do not either know or care about it.
Neither do many locals so it is important that to those of us that actually do live here and strive to do the right things that we do not have just the general lurking, come here for a short time, don't give a crap types embedding on our very fragile environment and don't either know or give 2 cents about it as long as it "suits" them. Not saying you are one of those but it does go without saying we see too many.

Yes I understand, and I can understand this attitude towards new comers. As a new comer I will sadly be ignorant on some issue. I think when you show someone respect they tend to return the favor. Name calling will scare the new comer away from the forums and remain ignorant on many issues; which nobody wants.

The lion fish, wrong types of sun screen, touching the corals, global temperatures, hurricanes, and the list goes on of harmful things. I cannot see the logic in eating a species for dinner that has a healthy population is harming the ecosystem. The Virgin Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife and other Marine biologist also monitor species to make sure their populations are staying the same or growing. If a species populations start to shrink we make regulations accordingly to protect them. Closed seasons, etc. At least this is how I hope it works.

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rotorhead
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That might be a good idea, if you plan on eating things that a fragile eco system is dependent on.

You could make an argument an ecosystem is dependent on all species, but that is not a valid argument. If OT would have gave me a reasonable logical reason I would reconsider. Calling me a "dipshit" shows how mature that person truly is.

Maybe OT will allow you to eat Lionfish. You know what comes after mature? Crotchety!

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Alana33
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Rotor - stick to the other forum as you have a tendancy to be moronic.
Sorry - don't want to get into it with you on this one.
Thanks.

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rotorhead
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Rotor - stick to the other forum as you have a tendancy to be moronic.
Sorry - don't want to get into it with you on this one.
Thanks.

Thanks for the idiotic suggestion!

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STXjill
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Ikory, we have an abundance of Lionfish here, and they're free for the taking! I've read they're edible, I've never tried them, but you'd be doing a great service to our islands in helping clear the growing population. If you're looking for free food, that would be a great way to start, and we have groups that go hunting for Lionfish constantly.

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ikory
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Ikory, we have an abundance of Lionfish here, and they're free for the taking! I've read they're edible, I've never tried them, but you'd be doing a great service to our islands in helping clear the growing population. If you're looking for free food, that would be a great way to start, and we have groups that go hunting for Lionfish constantly.

I would not mind killing some lion fish. I wont eat them because of ciguatera. I saw a few months back a Marine Biologist was having a meeting in STX about the lion fish and Ciguatera. I was very curious the outcome of what he had to say? I have seen lion fish skinned and prepared on the travel channel, and apparently they are super tasty. Very hard to skin, but tasty.

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rotorhead
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Lionfish are edible, there are many recipes online.

http://www.lionfishhunter.com/lionfish-recipes.html
http://www.lionfishhunters.org/Recipes.html
http://www.caribbeantravelmag.com/articles/spicy-lionfish-dill-sauce
http://www.mnn.com/food/recipes/photos/6-edible-invasive-species-recipes/lionfish-nachos

Ciguatera must only occur in reef "fish" since many of us eat the local lobster and conch.

Another thing which I eat and like are whelks. You will find them in large numbers at the waters edge attached to rocks. Cook them like you would cook mussels and they are delicious. I don't think that they are endangered.

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ikory
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Whelks look awesome. If I remember correctly there are some regulations on them I think on size. To tired to look it up right now. I love the fact they are on the waters edge. Thank you for the information I will look more into lion fish.

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Jamison
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That might be a good idea, if you plan on eating things that a fragile eco system is dependent on.

You could make an argument an ecosystem is dependent on all species, but that is not a valid argument. If OT would have gave me a reasonable logical reason I would reconsider. Calling me a "dipshit" shows how mature that person truly is.

Nobody here eats it, that speaks volumes. I like Uni and use to eat it. Now I don't eat any animal.

Eat Lionfish, that'll help our ecosystem. No, not everything is needed for it.

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Ronnie
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Ciguatera poisoning is based on how much fish you eat. The toxin builds in your body and when it reaches the boiling point, so to speak, you get it. 6 months later you can eat fish again as that's how long it takes to be gone from your body.

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AandA2VI
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Good luck finding whelk that are sizeable. plus theyre gross lol. i dont like conch either thou, actually not a fan of lobster either lol. Shocking i know. I used to eat sushi but I'm over it completely to the dismay of my boyfriend. I gave up yellow and blue fin tuna 10 years ago after learning how its captured and that "dolphin safe" is pretty much a marketing tool and in reality trillions of by catch are killed each year. Ronnie from the research I've done which has been extensive as I am attempting to pick up spear fishing, that's incorrect. I read that it actually comes on in 30 min with usually violent vomiting and diaherea, symptoms worsing and it can last for months?? . I'm actually really hesisatant to do any spear fishing because I'm afraid of cigutera. I could be wrong but the blogs and first hand experience from forum users has been the opposite.

Have you ever had it?? I'd be really I interested in hearing your experience. Maybe it will help me overcome my fear of it, I really want to get into self sustaining more and more, but having montezumas revenge once I can't go through something like that again.

Sadly I just saw a 16 inch PLUS lionfish out outer brass on a dive. It was MASSIVE!!!! Unfortunately I didn't have my spear with me or else I would totally be having beer battered lionfish.... With a side of cigutera, sigh.

As far as the urchins go, I'm not eating any gonads, no matter how tasty they may be LOL. (Rotor - insert joke here)

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poodle
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Lionfish is awesome tasting...and the texture is light/delicate.

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AandA2VI
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I've been hearing that. This guy would have fed 4. I've never, even with 15 years in the aquarium hobby, seen one that big. I do think they're beautiful. 🙁

I would think the possibility of cigutera is extremely high on lionfish thou.

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ikory
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Ronnie, I have also read that Ciguatera stays in your system forever. I also read that about mercury, but I have also read that it is not true mercury does leave your system after so many months. I googled ciguatera for hours and hours earlier this year. I guess back to the researching.

STX Source was the one who advertised the meeting on STX with the Marine biologist about eating lion fish a few months ago. I wonder if they posted the outcome of that meeting. I would love had gone so many questions I would have asked.

I should mention I am a great swimmer, but got hurt in the Marines and really only have one good hand. Not sure how great of a fisherman I would be. I could still hit a target one handed from 500 yards away with an m16a2, so I am sure I could spear fish. I see collecting, whelk, conch, and urchins as a one handed job.

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rotorhead
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As far as the urchins go, I'm not eating any gonads, no matter how tasty they may be LOL. (Rotor - insert joke here)

No Mountain Oysters? Or Rocky Mountain Oysters? LOL. 😉

As for whelks, they are found in very large clusters along rocky coastlines. I usually pick through the colony and harvest the big ones. I have returned to the same clusters year after year to harvest them. My favorite spots are the offshore islands north of St Thomas.

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Exit Zero
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East Ender
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Ronnie said: "6 months later you can eat fish again as that's how long it takes to be gone from your body."

Hmm...I guess that was earlier than 6 months when I heard. "I will NEVER eat fish again." 😉

A&A: I would listen to the Wise One. He knows from personal experience. I am going to have to find my notes from a lecture at the hospital on tropical diseases that included ciguatera. I do remember that it tends to accumulate in certain species- big fish eating the little fish.

And it can be MUCH worse than Montezuma's revenge. It is a *neurotoxin* and for some reason, some people are affected permanently. Two people can eat off the same fish and have differing responses.

Back to the original topic...I thought that the reason that the West Indian Sea Egg (Tripneustes ventricosus) was so rare was because it had been harvested for its roe nearly to extinction.

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ikory
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So September 30 it is. YAY! So whelks need to be 2 7/16 and Conchs need to 9 inches.

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poodle
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For those of you that enjoy conch, try it sushi-style! I had it fresh on the beach as it was pulled from the shell, rinsed in the sea, with a squeeze of local lime. The flavor was fabulous, and the texture was that of a slightly-warmed stick of butter.

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rmb2830
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it's illegal to harvest conch till November

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BeachcomberStt
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U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS TERRITORIAL WATERS SUMMARY OF FISHING REGULATIONS TERRITORIAL WATERS EXTEND FROM SHORE TO 3 MILES OFFSHORE

1. Whelk:
Size:
Limit:
Landing Restriction:
Closed Season :
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §316-6 & 316-7.
Minimum size of shell must be greater than 2 7/16 inches in diameter. Must be landed whole in the shell (see Appendix 1 page 24)
April 1-September 30.

2. Conch:
Size:
Limit:
Harvest Quota:
Landing Restriction:
Sale Restriction:
Closed Season:
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §316-1 & 316-4.
Minimum size of 9 inch shell length from the spire to the distal end, or 3/8 inch lip thickness (see Appendix 1 page 24).
No harvest of undersized conch.
150 conch per day per permitted commercial fisher.
6 conch per day per recreational (personal use) fisher; not to exceed 24 per boat per day.
Must be landed alive and whole in the shell at final landing site.
No disposal of shell at sea before landing. Taking conch to off shore cays and islands for purpose of removing from shell is prohibited. Transport of conch meat out of shell over open water is prohibited.
No sale of undersized conch shell or meat from undersized conch.No sale of imported conch meat unless shipment is accompanied by a CITES export permit and shipment is cleared at the Port of Miami.(see Conch Imports, page 8 for exceptions and further information).
July 1 - September 30.

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beachy
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Conch restrictions were extended to nov 1

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AandA2VI
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Ronnie said: "6 months later you can eat fish again as that's how long it takes to be gone from your body."

Hmm...I guess that was earlier than 6 months when I heard. "I will NEVER eat fish again." 😉

A&A: I would listen to the Wise One. He knows from personal experience. I am going to have to find my notes from a lecture at the hospital on tropical diseases that included ciguatera. I do remember that it tends to accumulate in certain species- big fish eating the little fish.

And it can be MUCH worse than Montezuma's revenge. It is a *neurotoxin* and for some reason, some people are affected permanently. Two people can eat off the same fish and have differing responses.

Back to the original topic...I thought that the reason that the West Indian Sea Egg (Tripneustes ventricosus) was so rare was because it had been harvested for its roe nearly to extinction.

Oh please don't harvest the sea eggs. They are hard to come by. I think he means the long spine urchins are the one he wanted to try.

I know about the larger the predatory fish the greater the possibility of toxin but what I was confused about is the "build up" of toxins before a reaction. I can not find any information on that. What I can find is that if the fish has it.... You're F-ed pretty much. Get ready for the worst illness ever that can last for months, including nurological issues and reversal of hot and cold sensations. I can't imagine how much that would suck! I read on scuba board a couple that had barracuda once and got it.

Here's the CDCs list of fish: (pretty much all the good eatin ones)
Barracuda, black grouper, blackfin snapper, cubera snapper, dog snapper, greater amberjack, hogfish, horse-eye jack, king mackerel, and yellowfin grouper have been known to carry ciguatoxins.

By the way, I would get familiar with types of marine algae blooms and what they look like. I can tell you what dinoflagellates and diatoms look like and I'm aware of what they can do to a reef based on my reef keeping. I actually battled a really nasty dinoflagellate outbreak that lasted a few months. Not that I was eating the fish lol but knowing what it looks like on the reef will defiantly help avoid getting sick. I'm not sure if the dinoflagellate that causes cigutera can be seen in blooms or not.

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East Ender
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A&A: I think the "build up" occurs in two ways- small fish who eat off the reef being eaten by bigger fish as well as an accumulation of the toxin within a person. I know of cases where two people have eaten the same fish. One ended up disabled and one had no symptoms. There may be sensitivity to the toxin also, I don't know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciguatera

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poodle
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the FDA has in fact added Lionfish to the "do not eat" category.

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