Sea Cucumber fishery: NAFO Division 3PS

Species and area

Sea cucumber fishery in NAFO sub-Division 3Ps.

Fishing is authorized in the western sea cucumber area, south of 46°30’ north latitude and west of 56°28’ west longitude for existing commercial licence holders.

Temporary permit holders are authorized to fish in that portion of NAFO sub-Division 3Ps known as the Eastern Cucumber Area, east of 56° 08’ west longitude, (the French boundary).

Season opening and closing dates

The fishing season is from June 1 to December 31 or until the TAC has been harvested, whichever comes first. 

TAC and allocations:

The total allowable catch (TAC) for the 2017 season is 6,016 tonnes. Each fish harvester has a harvesting cap of 117,936 kg (260,000 lbs).

Management measures

The management approach supports sustainability of the Sea cucumber resource. New measures in 2017 include opening a fishery on the Eastern Bed, increasing the TAC, issuing 32 new temporary permits to NAFO sub-Division 3Ps based independent core fish harvesters, the introduction of dockside monitoring (DMP) requirement.

Temporary permits process & policies

3Ps independent core fish harvesters provided expression of interests to the Department to be included in a draw for temporary permits. The deadline for the expressions of interests was June 30, 2017. An independent firm conducted the temporary permit draw on July 12, 2017. The list contains 152 names ranked in the order in which they were drawn. This list will expire July 31, 2022.

Thirty (30) letters of offer were sent to the first thirty successful fish harvester’s names drawn. In addition, two (2) Sea cucumber permits will be issued to the Miawpukek First Nation (MFN) in Conne River. Those offered a new permit have 11 months to be geared up. Geared up is defined as the gear is in working order and installed on the vessel. This shall be verified by a fishery officer. If gear up does not occur by June 1, 2018, the harvester will become ineligible and an offer will be made to the next fish harvester on the eligibility list.

The new Sea cucumber temporary permits have a participation requirement. In order for the fish harvester to be eligible for a permit in each of the following years, he/she must have had at least 5 trips and/or landed 50% of their quota (58,968 kg/130,000 lbs). The permit holders have one year after the gear up requirement year to meet the annual participation requirement (2018). Market considerations will be taken into account.

Other information