As the sun fell last night, the local urchin divers returned to the harbor, unloaded their harvest, and went on their way.

Further down on the dock two UCSB graduate students were conducting study on the relationship between the size/weight of the urchins and the size/weight/quality of the gonads which are eaten as a delicacy (Uni) at Japanese restaurants. With one cracked open as part of their study they offered me a sample of fresh Uni. While I don’t agree with the destruction of global marine ecosystems by Japan’s quest for culinary delicacies, I felt compelled to sample the locally harvested urchins. The freshness of the food and the ambiance on the dock provided an experience that would never be topped.

-Erin Feinblatt