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

Discefa/Ditusa

Fortune Fish & Gourmet

Mitsui Foods Inc.

Netuno USA

Panapesca USA

Pescados de Playa

Pesfasa

Santa Monica Seafood

SeaDelight

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  -  October to December 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: Mauritanian processors and Mauritanian vendor associations attended the FAO workshop on 26 October 2018 to approve the pre-assessment and workplan. The SR has sent a letter to encourage national stakeholders to share the pre-assessment and workplan as soon as possible and publish the FIP in Fisheryprogress.org (FP). 

Further support needed: Follow up with your vendors in Mauritania to join the FIP and ensure public and regular reporting in FP.

Morocco Octopus:

Update: SFP, with the help of Dr. Naji, is in the process of contacting national stakeholders and organizing an informative workshop at the Halieutis Salon in Agadir (February 2019). 

Further support needed: Ask your vendors in Morocco to attend an octopus-related workshop during the Halieutuis Salon in Agadir (February 2019).

Mexico Octopus:

Update: A first stakeholder meeting of the Yucatan Octopus FIP is planned for 16 January 2019. The SR has confirmed US$10,000 to support this first meeting and the FIP launch. 

Further support needed: Encourage your vendors from the Yucatan fishery to attend the workshop on Jan 16.

Philippines Octopus:

Update: SFP is in conversation with seven key exporters in the Philippines to develop an octopus exporter association, forming a body to lead the development of a FIP. 

Further support needed: SR participants to sign a letter of support for launching a FIP.

Portugal Octopus:

Update: SFP has made first contact with the Cephs and Chefs project to explore the possibility of launching a FIP in Algarve during 2019. 

No further support needed yet.

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: Viveros Merimar joined the SR in October 2018. An SR meeting call was conducted on 19 November 2018 to introduce the SR to new participants, review progress on the work plan (e.g. in launching FIPs), agree on the content of the letters of interest and support to the intended FIPs, and review the financial situation and plans of the SR, as well as plans for any upcoming meetings, e.g. at the Boston-based seafood exposition.

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

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