Commercial sea cucumber fishery to start Sept 1

MINISTER of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green has announced the opening of a limited entry commercial fishery for sea cucumbers, commencing September 1, 2021.

“Sea cucumber in the Asian market fetches US$385 per kilogramme. We believe that we here in Jamaica can harvest up to 30 tonnes of wet weight per year, which would give us up to US$30 million worth of export,” he said.

Minister Green made the announcement during his contribution last week to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives under the theme: ‘The New Food Security, Agribusiness Development, Climate-Smart Technologies, Export Expansion (FACE) of Food’.

The establishment of the fishery is based on the results of an assessment on the status of the sea cucumber fish population that was conducted by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA).

“The National Fisheries Authority has reported that it has completed its assessment of the status of the sea cucumber fish population around the Island Shelf and Pedro Banks and that, based on the numbers, it will support the establishment of a small-scale sustainable fishery for the high-value product,” he said.

Sea cucumbers have been used as a food source and medicinal ingredient in Asian and Middle Eastern countries for centuries.

These slug-like animals are used either fresh or dried in various dishes, though the dried form is by far the most commonly used.

Dried sea cucumber, known as bche-de-meror trepang, is rehydrated and added to recipes like soups, stews, and stir-fries. Sea cucumbers can also be eaten raw, pickled, or fried.

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