Fisheries agree to update practices to protect Yucatan’s octopus

Document signed at Boston seafood show

Yucatan octopus, or pulpo, is grilled and served. Photo: Getty
Yucatan octopus, or pulpo, is grilled and served. Photo: Getty

The long-awaited fisheries improvement project for Yucatan octopus is under way.

A group of Mexican producers, processors and international exporters met in Boston this week to sign a memorandum of understanding at the Seafood Expo North America show.

Led by importer Netuno USA, the group included the companies Artisan Catch, Promarmex, Mas Pesca, Smart Fish, and LP Foods. The firms pledged to get the fishery to a level ready for certification from the Marine Stewardship Council in a couple of years.

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The agreement “is designed to foster sustainable octopus fishing in the Yucatan and the central aim of the project will be to establish long-term economic benefits for our small-scale fisherman and expediting access to global markets interested in responsibly-sourced octopus,” said Mauricio Orellana, managing director of Artisan Catch.

Mexico is the third-largest producer of octopus worldwide, registering 39,000 metric tons in volume in 2017. The Yucatan region itself produces 12,000 tons every year, which is then primarily exported to Europe and Asia — but is also prominent on local plates.

The Mayan octopus is unique among the world’s 150 pulpo species. Its fishing season lasts only from Aug. 1 to Dec. 15.

Source: Undercurrent News

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