Coastal Conversations Radio Program: Swan’s Urchins

Coastal Conversations Show: June 28


This show was produced by Production Assistant Tiegan Paulson, student at College of the Atlantic

At the turn of the century, Swan’s Island was a target in the rush for green gold. My name is Tiegan Paulson, production assistant for this month’s Coastal Conversations. This month we’ll take a look at Maine’s urchin fishery. Green sea urchins were incredibly lucrative in the 1990s and early 2000s.Communities like Swan’s Island saw people from all over the world showing up to dive, cull, and tend. This month we focus on the recollections of Howard Dentremont, Jason Matthews, and Jerry Smith – three of those harvesters. They discuss the process and dangers of diving, as well as the community living on Swan’s. Tune in on Friday, June 27th at 4PM for this month’s Coastal Conversation. Only on WERU community radio, 89.9 FM in Blue Hill and online at Coastal Conversations is supported by Maine Sea Grant in partnership with Schoodic Institute and The First Coast.


Howard Dentremont, urchin diver
Jason Matthews, urchin diver
Jerry Smith, urchin captain

For more information

For more information about the history of the green sea urchin fishery check out the DMR’s paper Over the Brink —A History of the Maine Sea Urchin Fishery and DMR Sea Urchin Research and Management.

Thank you to Galen Koch and Natalie Springuel for production assistance, and to Olivia Jolley and the Swan’s Island Historical Society for setting up interviews and providing archival materials.

You can learn more about the history and heritage of Swan’s Island at

Listen to the show on WERU archives

More information about Coastal Conversations Radio Program