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.
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.
Little progress has been made on octopus fishery improvement efforts (only 0.01 percent of global production is sustainable), and efforts to engage the international supply chain are just beginning. This makes it hard to define a clear, high-confidence route to close the gap to T75.
It appears that existing supply chain leverage may be able to influence 35 percent of global production, under optimistic assumptions (national FIP strategies will be required in Mauritania, Morocco, and Mexico).
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.
For full details see the T75 Octopus Sector report.
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
- Communicate with national governments (Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania, and Senegal) about the need for policy and management improvement.
- Support and engage suppliers on prospective FIPs:
- Southwest Madagascar Octopus (Octopus cyanea): lead by BlueVentures
- Mexico Bahia de Los Angeles Octopus (Octopus bimaculatus & Octopus hubbsorum): lead by Pronatura Noroeste
- Mauritania Octopus (Octopus vulgaris): lead by SMCP & Sea Delight Ocean Fund
- Shantou-Taiwan Bank short arm octopus – single trawl/jig: lead by China Blue Sustainability Institute
- Identify other geographies of interest and share with SFP contact person.
- Invite further participation by like-minded industry.
If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.