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: Western Asturias Octopus Traps Fishery of Artisanal Cofradias), 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.

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:

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 

The SR is exploring opportunities in Morocco, Peru, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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.


Current Participants:

Arista Industries


Fortune Fish & Gourmet

Mitsui Foods Inc.

Netuno USA

Panapesca USA

Pescados de Playa


Santa Monica Seafood


Viveros Merimar

Improvement Needs

  • 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. 

SR Objectives

  • 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

  1. Communicate with national governments (Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania, and Senegal) about the need for policy and management improvement.
  2. Support and engage suppliers on prospective FIPs:
  3. Identify other geographies of interest and share with SFP contact person.
  4. Invite further participation by like-minded industry.

Progress Update

The SR progress update can be found here.

Project Contact:

If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.

Quarterly Global Octopus SR Update  -  July to September 2018 

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

Please find an overview of fisheries identified in the T75 Octopus Sector Report including those currently not necessarily prioritized by the SR, here

Mauritania Octopus:

Update: Q3 activities focused on expanding industry outreach outside SR and invite further participation by FPMEDC (exporter/vendor association), Mauritanian industry and Spanish and Japanese buyers based in Mauritania in a workshop to finalise and approve the workplan of the FIP; SMCP new coordinators have been introduced to the FIP model ensuring their continued engagement. 

Further Support needed: Alert your Mauritania supply chain to participate in the workshop and support work plan finalisation and publication of the FIP in FP; Develop a letter of support and interest for the FIP. 

Morocco Octopus:

Update: None 

Further Support needed: SR participants to confirm their interest in improvements to your supply chain, contact Pedro Ferreiro or Carmen G Valles. 

Mexico Octopus:

Update: The organization of a meeting for the review of the preassessment and the workplan had to be postponed to January 2019 due to unavailability of stakeholders. 

Further Support needed:SR participants to flag their interest in improvements to their Mexican supply chain and support the FIP launch meeting, contact Pedro Ferreiro. 

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

Not yet applicable

3. Support Mitigation of Fishery/FIP Overarching Sustainability issues

Relevant News:no update 

Further Support needed: Make sure Mexico based producers participate in the Collective Action Group to work on improvements in policy at national level. 

4. Expansion of the SR 

SFP is in process to identify buyers of Octopus from Target 75 priority fisheries in North American, European (Spain, Portugal, Italy) and Asian markets. 

Update: Pescados de Playa S.L. and Sea Delight joined the SR in July 2018. The SR conducted a webinar on 17th July to review and agree on the joint financial support to SR activities like FIP Initiation via an annual SR Participant contribution. First contributions by the participants have been received. 

Further Support needed: Promote the SR to fellow industry and invite participation and share your supply chain knowledge with SFP. Please contact Pedro Ferreiro.