Sea Cucumber Fever Grips Fisheries Skip to content

Sea Cucumber Fever Grips Fisheries

By Gunnar Jónsson

A record number of sea cucumbers have been caught around Iceland during this fishing season, RÚV reports.

This year’s season has kicked off with a bang, with around 2,000 tons of sea cucumbers being harvested from the ocean floor around the country. Last season 5,400 tons were caught during the whole season, which was double the amount caught the season before that.

Sea cucumbers are invertebrates that inhabit the sea floor the world over, serving a useful role in the ecosystem as they break down detritus and other organic matter for bacteria to consume. They are considered a delicacy in Asia and are used in ancient folk medicine, despite a lack of research proving their therapeutic potential. In Chinese cuisine, they are referred to as hoisam and are sold dry.

No fixed quota has been set for sea cucumber harvesting in Iceland. Nine fishing boats are currently given permits, with a quota set for specific areas. But beyond those no limit is set, giving fishermen free rein to fish as many sea cucumbers as they wish.

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