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. Two new participants joined the SR And after the Brussels Seafood Expo 2019 in March, two new participants joined the SR, bringing the total current membership to 14.
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. Indonesia, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mexico, SenegalPeru, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Peru Senegal have been 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 have been launched and key fisheries are moving into improvement initiatives with the support of this Supply Chain Roundtable (SR). 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. An overview of the octopus fisheries covered by the SR can be found here. The SR is exploring opportunities in Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Senegal, and Spain.
Mexico Yucatan Octopus FIP: MoU signed at the SR meeting in Boston at SENA 2019
The following pre-FIPs are supported and monitored:
Mauritania Octopus FIP: Led by SMCP
Morocco Octopus FIP: MSC pre-assessment in progress
The SR welcomes additional participation of market-based buyers of octopus, especially those sourcing from Vietnamese and Chinese fisheries.
For an overview of past progress, click here.
- 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 used for species with longer life cycles 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; Southeast 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 stakeholders 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.
Quarterly Global Octopus SR Update – April to June 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. A full summary of past progress, including details from past quarterly updates, can be found here.
1. Improvements in Target 75 Priority Fisheries
Update: SFP staff met with exporters and authorities in September. A letter was sent to the ministry encouraging the publication of the FIP. The FIP is not yet published.
Further support needed: SR participants and exporters in Mauritania to continue to push the authorities to make public the pre-assessment and workplan approved in 2018.
Update: A field visit to Morocco in July included several meetings with the industrial fleets, processors, and exporters, who showed an interest in having fisheries improvement initiatives in place in Morocco. The companies and associations are supportive and optimistic about the FIP. In September, a meeting was held in Agadir by one of the main industrial fleet associations to discuss the status of the Pre-assessment development work and the next steps to launch a FIP. Two SR participants attended meetings and others introduced SFP to their vendors to mobilize them to participate in the meetings. Pre-assessment is in the last round of review. A presentation to stakeholders is planned for December.
Further support needed: Support SFP in reaching out to national industry in preparation for the FIP meeting presentation in December 2019.
Update: The Mexican Octopus FIP is published on Fishery Progress.A meeting was held on September 4 in Merida where an agreement was reached with local NGO COBI (Comunidad y Biodiversidad) on implementation of workplan activities and FIP management.I ndustry participants have been instrumental in the agreement with COBI and in securing funding for the FIP.
SFP introduced new SR members with interest in Mexican octopus and FIP national stakeholders to Impacto Colectivo .
Further support needed: Attract support from new suppliers and buyers from national and international markets to ensure there are enough financial resources for full implementation of the FIP workplan.
Update: Increased interest in and leverage on Senegal octopus. SR participants agreed to use their influence to conduct a stakeholder mapping exercise for the fishery and start conversations with collaborators in Senegal.
Further support needed: Expand SR outreach and increase SR participation by importers of Senegal octopus, as well as facilitate SFP introduction to national stakeholders.
Update: Conversations are underway with REDES (a local NGO in Peru) to focus on the octopus fishery. National industry stakeholders overlap with Peruvian JFS and therefore it will be difficult to secure any additional industry funding.SFP will be attending Seafood Lima to identify national buyers as well as toexpand outreach to the national Peruvian industry.
Further support needed: National and international market-based buyers need to be identified to increase market leverage and support for FIP initiation.
Update: The SR agreed during the July call to postpone pushing for a FIP in the Philippines until there is more leverage with SR members sourcing from the Philippines.
Further support needed: Expand SR outreach and increase SR participation by Philippines octopus importers.
Portugal and Spain Octopus:
Update: SFP is coordinating with other NGOs active in the fishery to draft a support letter from the SR to encourage Galician stakeholders to either start a FIP or enter into MSC full assessment.
Further support needed: Develop a strategy to express SR interest in getting the fishery into a FIP or into MSC full assessment to Algarve octopus fishery stakeholders.
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. Expansion of the SR
SFP is in the process of identifying buyers of octopus from Target 75 priority fisheries in North American, European (Italy, Portugal, Spain), and Asian markets.
Update: Grupo Profand joined 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.