PERRY — Maine wants to get better and timelier information about the harvest of its sea urchins, which are the most valuable in the country, and it will begin doing so with a new swipe card system in a few weeks.

Maine sea urchins are harvested for their roe, which is especially popular in Japan and Japanese restaurants in America as sushi and sashimi. The swipe card system is similar to a program the state unveiled for its baby eel fishery last year.

The new card system will allow the state to collect information about volume and price of urchin sales in real time, said Maggie Hunter, a biologist with the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The season begins Sept. 1 and Hunter said the cards will likely be ready by October.

“You’ll know how much was caught, who caught it, the area in which it was caught, how much was paid, what the roe quality was,” Hunter said.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources Advisory Council approved the swipe card plan on July 30. The state has the equipment on hand because it was purchased for the program that tracks the baby eel, or elver, fishery.

State regulators said the swipe card system has prevented poaching in the elver fishery, in which the per-pound average for 2015 was $2,172 compared to $874 in 2014.

But, some fishermen and dealers have been skeptical. Sinuon Chau, an urchin dealer and buyer based in Scarborough, said the system could complicate working in a fishery that has struggled with low catches in recent years.

Maine’s urchin fishery, which experienced a boom in the late ’80s and ’90s before receding, hasn’t broken 1,000 metric tons since 2011.

“It’s just making it more difficult. Some buyers don’t know how to use it,” he said.

Maine and California have the most valuable sea urchin fisheries in the country. California’s fishery, which exceeded 5,800 metric tons in 2013, is much larger but Maine urchins are typically worth more per pound. The state’s urchin fishery was valued at nearly $5.4 million in 2014.