Since the sea cucumber season opened in October, 500 tons of the seafood have been caught in Icelandic waters, which have been processed at Reykkofinn in Grundarfjördur, west Iceland, and exported to China.
A sea cucumber. Source: Wikipedia.
“It is used as medicine, among other purposes, called ‘the ginseng of the ocean’,” Bergur Jónsson, captain of Hannes Andrésson SH-737, told Morgunbladid. Sea cucumbers are also used for regular consumption.
Jónsson has been fishing for sea cucumbers for the past seven years both in Faxaflói bay west of the country and off the eastern coast. He said fishing isn’t always successful—a lot of vegetation gets tangled in the catch and so cleaning it is time consuming. The Chinese market is also difficult.
There are many different species of sea cucumbers, Jónsson said, and the one caught in Iceland is the one least valuable on the market. “It is new and is competing against the traditional species caught in the far east. It is classified as the poor man’s sea cucumber.”
Click here to read more about sea cucumber fishing in Iceland.