I wrote just that in a SEA-NL blog post Thursday, but the information supplied to me was incorrect. My apology. On Wednesday, Aug. 3rd, a fishing boat from the French islands of St. Pierre-Miquelon off Newfoundland’s south coast unloaded sea cucumbers in Grand Bank, but “the receipt wasn’t made out to the Fogo Island Coop.”
The question now becomes, what local processor(s) did buy the sea cucumbers from the French boat when much of the province’s own fleet is forced to wait 7-14 days between trips on buyer-imposed fishing schedules?
Spokesmen for the Fogo Island Co-op wouldn’t say.
Again, no disrespect to the fine fishermen of St. Pierre-Miquelon, but sea cucumber processors in this province — all of whom are government licensed/subsidized in some fashion — should buy from our inshore fleet first, and another country second.
Last year, 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 off southern Newfoundland.
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).
In 2021, the 59 sea cucumber licence holders (40 are temporary until this fall) remained tied up over price until early August — eventually fishing for 70¢/lb — 10¢/lb more than 2020, although the then-new grading protocols deducted about the same amount or more 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.
To read more about SEA-NL, or to join the non-profit organization please visit sea-nl.ca