Illustration of Sea Cucumber

Sea Cucumber

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Seafood Variety

Harvest Method

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Giant Red Sea Cucumber

Paratichopus californicus

Method

Wild

Diver

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

4 / 5

Summary

A commercial fishery for giant red sea cucumbers has existed in BC since the 1970’s. Thirty different species of sea cucumbers exist in BC, but the giant sea cucumber is the only one that is commercially harvested. Currently the primary market is Asia. Management is effective and highly precautionary, with regulations such as harvest rates, the enforcement of commercial no-take reserves, and minimum density thresholds (at least 2.5 cucumbers per meter shoreline must be present). As divers harvest the sea cucumbers, bycatch and habitat damage do not occur. The stock status of the cucumbers is healthy. In 2011, more than 1 million pounds were harvested. In 2013, the wholesale value of the fishery was $7.3 million.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Orange-footed sea cucumber

Cucumaria frondosa

Method

Wild

Dredge

Location

Newfoundland and Labrador

Overall Rating

3.1 / 5

Summary

The Orange-footed sea cucumber has an extensive distribution across the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Little is known about their life history, but they are thought to be mature at 5 years of age. They are broadcast spawners and prefer hard substrates. Four fishing areas occur in Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Nova Scotia (NS), New Brunswick (NB), and Quebec (QC). All four fishing areas use modified drag nets and are managed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Bycatch for fisheries in Newfound and Labrador are low and catch rates are set at conservative limits. The management strategy also includes a large area where the species is protected from fishing, ensuring a stable population.

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Variety

Orange-footed sea cucumber

Cucumaria frondosa

Method

Wild

Dredge

Location

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec

Overall Rating

2.6 / 5

Summary

The Orange-footed sea cucumber has an extensive distribution across the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Little is known about their life history, but they are thought to be mature at 5 years of age. They are broadcast spawners and prefer hard substrates. Four fishing areas occur in Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Nova Scotia (NS), New Brunswick (NB), and Quebec (QC). All four fishing areas use modified drag nets and are managed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The fisheries in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick started in the late 1990s, however, there is insufficient information available to make well-informed management decisions. In Quebec, concerns exist over bycatch. Additionally, the impacts of dragging nets on the habitat is unknown and is a moderate concern.

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