The fisheries of the sea around Saint-Pierre and Miquelon: from cod to sea cucumber

Palomares M.L.D., Pauly D.

Date de parution: novembre 2022
Volume: 46
Number: 4
Pagination: 337-347

Corresponding author: Maria-Lourdes D. Palomares,

How to cite: Palomares, M.-L. D., & Pauly, D. (2022). The fisheries of the sea around Saint-Pierre and Miquelon: from cod to sea cucumber. Cybium, 46(4): 337-347.


A description of Western North Atlantic fisheries is provided in the form of catch time series covering the years from 1950 to 2019 and two derived indicators: 1) stock status plots; and 2) the mean trophic level of the catch. These are shown at three different geographic scales, all of which exhibit the same patterns of decline. Maps are presented which illustrate the decadal decline in an indicator of aggregate biomass from 1950 to 2019 based on an application of the CMSY stock assessment method to 35 important fish and invertebrate stock exploited by Northwest Atlantic fisheries. These assessments suggest that Saint-Pierre and Miquelon was no exception in the regional trends of overfishing and biomass decline, as confirmed by the scale invariance of the trends presented in this contribution. Some emphasis is given to the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) of Eastern Canadian waters, whose exploitation by European fishing fleets dates at least to 1508, but whose major biomass collapse began in the 1960s, when distant-water trawler fleets reigned supreme. Some reflections are provided on the implications, for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon having transited from a fishery relying predominantly on cod to a fishery targeting orange-footed sea cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa).

Mots-clés: Biomass left - Catch reconstruction - CMSY - Fishing down - Stock assessments - Stock-status plots
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