Friday, October 10, 2008
There are a lot of fishing boats here in Santa Barbara. You see guys unloading small west coast lobsters. Crab pots are around, but I have not seen any crab. I talked to a couple fishermen and as could be expected, things are generally in decline. The skipper of Spaniard, a 1926 boat converted for Swordfishing, turned out to be a dentist Monday through Friday.
There is money being made here. It is Uni (Sea Urchin for Sushi) that can fetch 3 figures per pound in Japan. Uni is an acquired taste and East Asia is buying it as fast as they can.
The urchins are gathered by hand by divers around the Channel Islands. They dive off of small ~20 foot fiberglass boats that look like half sized lobster rigs.
Large basket nets are dumped into plastic bins here on Navy Pier and trucked away to local restaurants and the airport.
Uni is also a delicacy in Greece. There is more background here. You can order some here.