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Commercial fisheries licensing rules and policies reference document Pacific region

Sea cucumber

Categories ZD and FZD

Licence category

A commercial or communal commercial sea cucumber licence (category ZD or FZD) is required to commercially harvest sea cucumbers by dive. Sea cucumber licence eligibilities are limited entry and party based.

Licence category background

The sea cucumber fishery began as an experimental fishery in 1980. It was licensed as category ZD in 1985 and became a limited entry fishery in 1991.

The licence eligibility criteria were based on:

In 1993, quotas were assigned to five geographic areas: West Coast Vancouver Island, East Coast Vancouver Island, Central Coast, Prince Rupert District, and the Queen Charlotte Islands. In 1995, individual quotas were implemented as a pilot program to address conservation concerns. In 1998, these quotas were assigned to four geographic areas: West Coast Vancouver Island, East Coast Vancouver Island, Central Coast and Prince Rupert.

At present, licenses to harvest sea cucumbers under the individual quota pilot retain a Maximum Vessel Length (MVL) even though the MVL has been temporarily waived by DFO. Sea cucumber licenses may be designated to a vessel of any length permitted to harvest Schedule II Species. DFO reserves the right to reinstate vessel length restrictions at the lengths associated with each licence eligibility in the future.

Fishing areas

Licence renewal fee

The annual renewal fee for a commercial category ZD licence is $100.00.

There is no annual renewal fee for a communal commercial category FZD licence.

Licence issuance

A commercial Sea cucumber licence must be renewed, and the renewal fee paid, every year by September 30th to retain the privilege to be issued the licence in the future. This means that licence eligibility holders must renew the licence whether they intend to fish or not. If the licence is not annually renewed by September 30th, the licence will cease and DFO will not be able to consider a request to issue that licence in the future.

Prior to licence issue, a licence eligibility holder must ensure that:

There is no maximum number of Sea cucumber licences which may be designated to a vessel.

Licence documents

Sea Cucumber licence documents are valid from date of issuance to September 30th of the next calendar year.

Licence eligibility holders may reprint any lost or destroyed licence documents using the National Online Licensing System (NOLS).

Vessel redesignations

Redesignation of Sea cucumber licences is permitted at any time during the year as long as the licence conditions have been met, such as the completion, submission and acceptance of logbooks. For example, if a licence was issued on January 15th and a request to re-designate is received on March 10th, then logbooks and sales slips up to March 10th are required to be submitted to DFO.

Licence eligibility holders may only redesignate a fishing vessel to hold the licence by submitting a request through the National Online Licensing System. Instructions are available

Prior to redesignation applications being processed, the licence eligibility holder must:


Sea Cucumber category ZD licence eligibilities may be nominated from one party to another; however, nominations are only accepted prior to licence issuance or after the Individual Quota has been obtained for that licence for that year.

To do so, the current licence eligibility holder must indicate their intention to no longer apply for a sea cucumber licence and name the nominated individual using DFO’s Nomination for Category Z Licence Eligibility form. The Minister may then consider issuing the licence to the nominated individual.

Prior to the nomination of a commercial sea cucumber licence eligibility, the licence eligibility holder must ensure that any conditions of the current or previous year’s licence have been met and accepted by the Shellfish Data Unit.

Note that the nomination form must be signed by the licence eligibility holder on record and notarized by a lawyer or notary. If the licence eligibility holder is a company, the Pacific Fishery Licence Unit must have on record a copy of a recent B.C. Company Summary indicating the officers/directors associated with the company.

The Nomination for Category Z Licence Eligibility form is available.

Communal commercial sea cucumber category FZD licence eligibilities may not be nominated.

If you require further discussion or information on the above mentioned nomination policies, please contact the Pacific Fishery Licence Unit.


Logbooks may be obtained by calling D&D Fisheries
Telephone: 604-886-4819

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