Federal scientists and others are exploring the possibility of sea urchin farming in Canada, with at least six pilot studies using Norwegian technology that proponents hope will turn "zombie" urchins which can denude kelp beds into profitable seafood.

The first of the studies, conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is expected to start next week in waters off Vancouver Island, with others planned for Newfoundland, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Wild urchins are harvested in B.C. and elsewhere, but aren't farmed commercially anywhere in Canada — yet.

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