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DFO to decide fate of temporary 3Ps cucumber permits before start of 2023 season

DFO says following the completion of a 3Ps sea cucumber stock assessment this winter (a date has yet to be set), an advisory meeting will be scheduled to consider management measures — including the status of 40 temporary permits. More specifically, whether to make them permanent.

The sea cucumber fishery takes place off Newfoundland's south coast in fishing zone 3Ps, with each of the 59 licence holders subject to a harvesting cap of 260,000/lbs (118 tonnes). New/emerging sea cucumber fisheries have also opened off the east coast (fishing zones 3LNO) and west coast (fishing zone 4R). OCI Picture.

The province's sea cucumber fishery usually starts June 1st, but the 2022 season was delayed until July because processors wouldn't buy from the inshore fleet for the panel-imposed price of 68¢/lb (plus 27.5% deduction for water loss).

Each sea cucumber license holder is subject to a harvesting cap of 260,000/lbs (118 tonnes) of sea cucumber round weight.

Of the 59 commercial sea cucumber fishing licenses, 19 are permanent in the western cucumber bed on the St. Pierre Bank, and 40 are temporary for the eastern cucumber area — including three commercial licenses and four temporary permits issued to the Miawpukek First Nation at Conne River.

In 2021, France had a total allowable catch (TAC) of 1,820 tonnes (four million pounds) live weight of sea cucumber in waters under French sovereignty or jurisdiction in the 3Ps fishing zone.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

SEA-NL Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization serving as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. You can read more about SEA-NL, and join us here.

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