Edible Sea-urchin

Echinus esculentus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Urchins and starfish
  3. Edible Sea-urchin


Also known as the 'Common Sea-urchin', the Edible Sea-urchin is large and round with short, strong spines. It lives amongst seaweed and rocks, where it grazes on algae and small shellfish.

How to identify

The largest British sea-urchin. Usually brick-orange in colour, with white bumps which the orange spines are attached to.

Where to find it

Found on rocky shores, particularly around the north and west of the UK.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Numbers of Common Sea-urchins have been depleted by overexploitation for commercial use. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Edible Sea-urchin
Latin name
Echinus esculentus
Urchins and starfish
Diameter: 15cm Average Lifespan: 10 years
Conservation status
Classified as Lower Risk/Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.