When Oscar Zheng came to Tasmania in 2008 to set up his abalone exporting business, he had no idea of the challenge that awaited him in the form of a spiky seafloor dweller: the sea urchin.
The pest has increasingly populated the waters off Tasmania's East Coast, chewing through seaweed and forcing abalone and crayfish to seek new homes.
The problem forced Mr Zheng to reevaluate his business.
"I still remember when I first picked up the fish, I could easily pick up 5-600 kilograms per diver, but later on the weight is getting less and less, which tells me something," he said.
His divers were telling him the problem was the sea urchin, but rather than give up, Mr Zheng had a new idea: capturing the sea urchin to export to China.
The Chinese pay good money for high quality sea urchin, but Mr Zheng's loads contained too much "B grade or C grade" products that required intensive processing to export.
It was here that he thought of his next solution.
"The idea came along with dumplings, because everybody loves dumplings," Mr Zheng said.
The taste of the sea urchin is something new to the palates of most Australians, but for the Chinese, it is a popular ingredient.
And with Tasmania an increasingly common destination for Chinese tourists, particularly after the visit of President Xi Jinping in 2014, Mr Zheng thought they would appreciate a little taste of home in Launceston.
"We can produce as many sea urchin as we can produce, and we can put them into the fillings," he said.
"We can get it ready once the summer time comes, when the tourists are over, they can actually buy the takeaway for their friends.
"I have been travelling in China many times. In China, there are so many successful sea urchin dumplings already in the market.
"The problem in China is that there are limited resources, there's only enough to feed higher classes of people.
"Why can't we just use the same model?"
On Monday, he opened a shopfront on Invermay Road in Mowbray where a team of cooks prepare sea urchin dumplings as part of his Oscar Tasmanian Seafood business - the only sea urchin dumpling store in Australia.
For many visitors to the grand opening it was their first taste of the sea urchin, with no sauce provided so they get the full taste experience.
Experienced diver sees seafloor changes from sea urchin
Rat Greene has spent 40 years as a commercial diver off Tasmania's East Coast and met Mr Zheng when he first arrived in Tasmania.
The pair have formed a close bond, and both have experienced the changes to the industry.
Mr Greene said the last decade has been tough after the sea urchin migrated to Tasmania.
"On the East Coast it has changed dramatically, since the urchin has come down from the coast chewing up the weed from the base, all the weed goes up on the shore, then it's just barren rocks," he said.
"All the abalone move away, all the crayfish move away to where the weed is."
The numbers of sea urchin being harvested this season has exploded.
Mr Greene said it was a case of processors keen to get their hands on as many as they can.
"So far, since December last year til now, there's been 250,000 kilograms that the divers have caught and the processors have processed so far," he said.
Mr Zheng's site in Mowbray was developed using $403,000 in funding, half of which came from a grant from the federal government
Nationals Tasmanian Senator Steve Martin said it was important to have businesses capable of processing the sea urchin, particularly Oscar Tasmanian Seafoods, which will also export sea urchin eggs to Asian markets.
"Capable of processing 240 tonnes of sea urchins every year and packaging for sale 24 tonnes worth of eggs, the facility will have a major flow-on benefit for the region's economy," he said.
"Thanks to this new facility, Tasmania's reefs, previously pillaged by this ocean pest, will once more flourish with tourist favourites, rock lobster and abalone.
"The reinvigoration of Tasmania's reefs and the protection of valuable abalone and rock lobster will not only keep tourists happy but safeguard the region's fisheries."