2019 Sea cucumber fishery

Species and area

Sea cucumber fishery in NAFO sub-division 3Ps. 

Fishing is authorized in the Western Bed, 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 Bed, east of 56° 08’ west longitude, (the French boundary).

Season opening and closing dates

The fishing season is from June 1 to December 31. 

TAC and allocations

The TAC for the 2019 season is 7,016 tonnes, up from 6,016 tonnes in 2018.

This allocation will have a positive economic benefit for Indigenous and coastal communities, and individuals working in the processing sector.

Management measures

The management approach supports sustainability of the Sea cucumber resource and includes harvesting caps, dockside monitoring (DMP), electronic vessel monitoring (VMS), reporting requirements, and at-sea observer coverage.

The increased TAC for 2019 will provide for an additional eight temporary fishing permits valid for the Eastern Bed in NAFO sub-Division 3Ps. Two temporary permits will be issued to the Miawpukek First Nation and six temporary permits to inshore harvesters who will be selected from the existing eligibility list. The eligibility list was established through a temporary permit draw conducted by an independent firm in 2017.  The list contains 152 names ranked in the order in which they were drawn and is valid until July 31, 2022.

Letters of offer will be sent to the eligible harvesters. Inshore harvesters 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 the deadline 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. Market considerations will be taken into account. Vessel leasing is not permitted.

Other information