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Processors should buy sea cucumbers from Newfoundland fleet first, French boats second

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

No disrespect to the fine fishermen of St. Pierre-Miquelon, but sea cucumber processors in this province — all of whom are government subsidized in some fashion— should buy from our inshore fleet first, and French boats second.

Sea cucumbers at a

On Wednesday, a fishing boat from the French islands landed in Grand Banks with a load of sea cucumbers purchased by a local processor.

Word has it as many as five more St. Pierre-Miquelon boats are expected to land sea cucumber in the coming days.

At the same time, Newfoundland sea cucumber boats have to wait 7-14 days between trips on buyer-imposed fishing schedules to slow down their landings.

That should not be.

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).

The eventually decided to do so.

Last year, 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.

For 2021, a TAC for sea cucumber was set at 1820 tonnes live weight in waters under French sovereignty or jurisdiction of the 3PS zone.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director-SEA-NL

To read more about SEA-NL, or to join the non-profit organization please visit

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