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 after the Brussels Seafood Expo 2019 in March, 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. Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, and Spain 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 2019, little progress had been made on octopus fishery improvement efforts (only 0.01 percent of global production was sustainable: Western Asturias Octopus Traps Fishery of Artisanal Cofradias), and efforts to engage the international supply chain were just beginning.
In 2019, a new fishery achieved MSC certification, Western Australia Octopus Fishery, and a few small-volume FIPs were publicly launched on FisheryProgress.org. Furthermore, the SR has targeted key fisheries to focus on for improvement initiatives, in countries with existing market leverage and support from national stakeholders.
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 SR 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.
The following pre-FIPs are supported and monitored:
The SR welcomes additional participation of market-based buyers of octopus, especially those sourcing from Vietnamese and Chinese fisheries.
Improvement needs, objectives, and action recommendations for 2020 are in development, and will be published after the annual SR meeting
A summary of past progress can be found in our SR Chronicles.
Current Action Recommendations to Interested Participants
Quarterly Global Octopus SR Update – January to March 2021
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 in the SR Chronicles.
1. Improvements in Target 75 Priority Fisheries
Update: SFP is working on a new strategy to get the FIP launched by engaging national industry in leading the initiative, to avoid delays from internal government issues. Please contact SFP’s SR lead for further explanation of the strategy being designed.
Further support needed: SR participants to introduce vendors in Mauritania and sign a letter of support to this initiative.
Update: The meeting with Moroccan industry and management authorities couldn’t take place as planned. After consultation with national industry and the consultant, we decided that we need to delay the meeting until after Ramadan season. Meeting findings and considerations will be used to define the next steps in the FIP launching process.
Further support needed: Maintain interest in Morocco within national industry.
Update: SFP provided an update on the FIP and required actions during the SR meeting call on March 30. A steering committee with stakeholders representing industry and producers has been formalized. Workplan implementation is moving forward, as is progress rating.
Further support needed: SR participants to sign a letter to confirm that, by the end of 2021, they will only source from FIP-participating companies that are implementing the traceability measures.
Update: The work in Senegal may be postponed to 2021, due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
No further support needed.
Update: Information sharing with the Cephs and Chefs project was interrupted due to COVID-19.
No further support needed.
Update: SFP will explore a new approach with the partners (MSC) and SR participants about a more strategic time to send out the letter of support.
No further support needed.
Update: The Philippines FIP is on standby due to COVID-19. Engagement with US importers is vital to resume the launching of the FIP.
Further support needed: SR participants and other interested parties are asked to connect us to any North American and EU importers of Philippines octopus.
2. Support to Established FIPs and Improvement Efforts
Please find an overview of all existing FIPs and improvement efforts, their current progress ratings, and status here.
Update: The Mexico Yucatan Octopus FIP received an A progress rating.
3. Expansion of the SR
Further support needed: The SR is looking to integrate new companies with leverage over Indonesian and Philippines fisheries, as well as trading relations with Japanese and South Korean markets. However, new buyers of octopus from Target 75 priority fisheries in North American and European markets are always welcome.