Kina

Maori name:
Scientific name: Evechinus chloroticus
Availability: August to January
Weight:
Length: Diameter: 8.5–15.0cm

Kina

Scientific name: Evechinus chloroticus
Availability: August to January
Length: Diameter: 8.5–15.0cm
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Location

The species is found only in New Zealand, but there are about 500 species of sea urchins worldwide. Kina are widespread along New Zealand coasts down to 50 metres, with the main concentrations found between the sub-tidal zone and 15 metres. In some places, population densities reach over 50 adults per square metre.

Attributes

Hard, spherical shell covered in dark brownish-green spines. Inside is a star-shaped mass of yellow to orange-coloured gonads in the males and roe in the females.

 

Both are sold as roe, which is the edible part. Kina is sought for its delicate, smooth, buttery roe. The male roe is silkier, the female roe is slightly more grainy.

Family

Kina belongs to the Echinometridae family (sea urchins).

Spawning

The main spawning season is from February to March.

Sustainability

South Island kina were introduced into the Quota Management System in 2002, with the North Island fishery following suit the following year. They are an important recreational and customary fishery. Kina biology has been studied extensively but biomass estimates are currently only available for a few localities.

Fishing methods

The best harvest time is from August to January.

Nutrition

Kina is a good source

To quality for a 'good source' claim the food must contain at least 25% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Iodine

Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, for normal neurological function and for normal energy metabolism, and it contributes to the growth and development in children

, Selenium

Selenium is necessary for normal immune system function and for the production of thyroid hormones and it contributes to the maintenance of hair and nails

, Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is necessary for the metabolism of protein and the transport and metabolism of iron and it contributes to immune system function, energy metabolism, to reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and to the regulation of hormonal activity

and Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary for normal vision and the structure and function of skin and mucous membranes

; and a source

To quality for a 'source' claim the food must contain at least 10% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function and for teeth and bone structure and it contributes to normal energy metabolism

, Phosphorus

Phosphorus is necessary for normal teeth, bone and cell membrane structure and for energy metabolism

, Potassium

Potassium is necessary for water and electrolyte balance, it contributes to the functioning of the nervous system and normal muscle function; and to the normal growth and development of children

, Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is contributes to the transport and metabolism of iron, to the release of energy from food and to the maintenance of normal vision

and Vitamin E

Vitamin E is contributes to the protection of cells from free radical damage and to the normal growth and development of children

.

Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein

Protein is necessary for tissue building and repair, normal growth and development of bone in children and adolescents aged 4 years and over, and contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass

. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3

Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids that contribute to heart health

.

Tips

Kina is prized for its delicate, smooth, buttery roe; the male roe is silkier, while the female roe is slightly more grainy.

Buying & Storage Tips

Kina are available as whole sea eggs or roe in pottles. They should smell pleasantly briny but not overly pungent. Kina can vary in colour.