At the 2017 Seafood Expo North America (SENA), SFP organized a meeting with octopus suppliers to explore industry interest in pre-competitive work on octopus fisheries sustainability through a Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) model.
At SENA 2018, the SR was formalized with four participants. The SR was reconvened at SENA 2019 and grew to 11 participants.
Even though the scope of the SR is global, information gathered from industry and NGO participants helped to define a set of priority countries for the SR to start working on first, while also suggesting a deeper market analysis to expand the geographic focus of the group in the future. Mauritania, Morocco, Mexico, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Peru were identified as the most likely areas to see sustainability initiatives emerging, due to existing interest, market leverage, and availability of national connections with different stakeholders.
Until last year, little progress had been made on octopus fishery improvement efforts (only 0.01 percent of global production is sustainable: Western Asturias Octopus Traps Fishery of Artisanal Cofradias), and efforts to engage the international supply chain were just beginning.
Over the last year, initiatives were launched and key fisheries are moving into improvement initiatives with the support of this supply chain roundtable. The key to reaching T75 is engaging Chinese and Vietnamese fisheries, which in turn requires engagement with their domestic markets, as well as export markets in Japan and South Korea.
Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered:
At present, the roundtable focuses on a number of octopus fisheries found worldwide.
The following Pre-FIPs are supported and monitored:
Yucatan Octopus FIP: MoU signed at the SR meeting in Boston at SENA 2019Mauritania Octopus FIP: Led by SMCP
Morocco Octopus FIP: MSC Pre-assessment in progress
The SR is exploring opportunities in the Philippines, Peru, Indonesia, Portugal, and Spain.
An overview of the octopus fisheries covered by the SR can be found here.
The SR welcomes additional participation of market-based buyers of octopus, especially those sourcing from Vietnamese and Chinese fisheries.
- Octopuses can be a difficult resource to manage, due to their biological characteristics (e.g., high natural mortality, sensitivity to environmental conditions). Typical management measures, such as seasonal closures and minimum size limit, may not be adequate for sustainable use of some species of this group.
- Establishing management for octopus fisheries will be difficult in some regions. The artisanal and geographically distributed nature of the fisheries requires a co-management approach, which in many countries will require investments in basic fisheries management, such as initiation of data gathering, capacity building, monitoring, assessments, formal identification, and licensing of fishers, etc.
- A relevant volume of octopus is caught as bycatch in bottom-trawling fisheries known to have significant environmental impacts.
- Gather further knowledge on sustainability status of relevant octopus fisheries by developing FishSource Profiles (EU – Spain and Portugal; Latin America – Peru; South East Asia – China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia) and identifying a portfolio of management best practices for octopus fisheries.
- Support fully operational FIPs in Mauritania, Mexico, and Madagascar.
- Catalyze FIPs in Morocco, Indonesia, and the Philippines – including a model for improvement work in small-scale octopus fisheries.
- Expand SR participation into Southern Europe, Japan, and South Korea.
Current Action Recommendations to Interested Participants
- Join letters of support for Mauritania, Morocco, Mexico, and the Philippines to motivate national stakeholder to engage in improvement initiatives and launch FIPs.
- Connect with your vendors in Morocco, Mauritania, Mexico, and the Philippines to be part of the improvement efforts underway.
- Facilitate SFP introductions to South Korean and Japanese companies.
- Invite further participation by like-minded industry.
- Support and engage suppliers on existing FIPs.
- Identify other geographies of interest and share with SFP contact person
The SR progress update can be found here.
Quarterly Global Octopus SR Update – January to March 2019
This briefing provides an update on progress, activities, and news in the areas of interest to the SR. It also indicates any actions and further support needed.
1. Improvements in Target 75 Priority Fisheries
Update: SR members sent a letter of support to Mauritanian stakeholders requesting the release of the documents required for the FIP to be uploaded into FisheryProgress.
Further support needed: Connect with Mauritanian vendors to keep momentum going for an implementation meeting in Q2.
Update: A consultant was chosen and hired. He met with management authorities and scientific institutions during January to foster engagement on the FIP process. A national stakeholder meeting took place on February 21 during the Agadir Seafood Show in Morocco. SR members sent a letter of support for the FIP to Moroccan octopus stakeholders.
Further support needed: Support SFP to expand industry outreach during Brussels Seafood Expo. Join the letter of support and contact Moroccan vendors (same action as Mauritania).
Update: A TOR with Juan Manuel Caudillo was agreed and signed for facilitation of the Yucatan octopus FIP stakeholder meeting and drafting of an action plan. SR members sent a FIP support letter to Yucatan octopus FIP stakeholders. A meeting of Yucatan octopus stakeholders took place on January 16, with industry, scientific institutions, producers, NGOs, and buyers present. A report on the stakeholder meeting was developed and shared with stakeholders. Signing of the Yucatan Octopus FIP MoU took place during Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March.
Further support needed: Support to expand FIP industry outreach.
Update: Tinker proposal has been finalized and submitted for foundation review.
No further support needed.
Update: SR members sent a letter of support for a FIP to Philippines octopus stakeholders. A workshop was held in the Philippines with UNDP and national stakeholders, including government institutions and national industry. There was agreement on the launch of a basic FIP and creation of a national cephalopods exporters association (31 participants). SR member Panapesca recorded a video to motivate Philippine stakeholders to engage in a FIP. Philippine exporters participated in the Global Octopus SR meeting in Boston to promote the FIP.
Further support needed: Support industry outreach for expansion.
Update: TheCephs and Chefs project initiative of the Algarve Octopus Fishery (Portugal) was presented at the Global Octopus SR meeting during Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March.
Further support needed: Develop a letter of support to Algarve octopus fishery stakeholders for FIP initiation.
Update: TheCephs and Chefs project initiative of the Galicia Octopus Fishery (Spain) was presented at the Global Octopus SR meeting during Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March.
Further support needed: Develop a letter of support to Galicia octopus fishery stakeholders for FIP initiation.
2. Support to Established FIPs and Improvement Efforts
Please find an overview of all existing FIPs and improvement efforts, their current progress rating and status here.
3. Support for Mitigation of Overarching Fishery/FIP Sustainability Issues
Relevant news: TheYucatan Octopus FIP stakeholder meeting report has been finalized. For Peru, the Tinker proposal has been finalized and submitted for foundation review.
Further support needed: Make sure Mexico-based producers participate in the Collective Action Group to work on improvements in policy at the national level.
4. Expansion of the SR
SFP is in the process of identifying buyers of octopus from Target 75 priority fisheries in North American, European (Spain, Portugal, Italy), and Asian markets.
Update: The supply chain for the US market,Mitsui Foods/D&E/MarGalicia, formalized their participation in the SR.
Further support needed: Facilitate introductions to Korean and Japanese buyers, as well as to other industry companies interested in current pre-FIP efforts.