Supply Chain Roundtable

Global Octopus

Read the Octopus Sector Sustainability Update 2021.

The Global Octopus Supply Chain Roundtable (SR) includes octopus processing, importing, and exporting companies from around the world working together to promote the implementation of fishery improvement projects (FIPs) in key octopus fisheries, monitor the progress of those FIPs, and provide support if necessary. While the scope of the SR is global, the participants have defined a priority set of common octopus and red octopus fisheries and countries to focus on in the short term, including Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, and Spain. These countries are identified as the most likely to see sustainability initiatives emerging, due to existing interest, market leverage, and availability of national connections with different stakeholders.


SFP has identified other producing countries of interest (Chile, Indonesia, Peru, and the Philippines) where other species (O. cyanea, O. mimus, and E. megalocyathus) are harvested and exported to US and EU markets. The big blue octopus (O. cyanea) has recently been added to the scope of the SR.

Participation of the southern European seafood industry in the SR is essential to mobilize EU production and could play a critical role in triggering improvements in other areas of influence, due to its global relevance as an importer, processor, and re-exporter of octopus products. 

Looking to the future, the key to reaching the goals of T75 will be engaging Chinese and Vietnamese fisheries, which in turn requires engagement with their domestic markets, as well as export markets in Japan and South Korea.

See a list of all SR participants.

Sector Snapshot

6 Active Octopus FIPs

24 Roundtable Participating Companies

2 MSC-Certified Octopus Fisheries

4.5 % Global Octopus Production Improving

Join This Roundtable

To join this Supply Chain Roundtable or for more information, please contact Carmen Gonzalez Valles or call SFP at 1-808-726-2582.

Q1 2024 Update:

  • The SR now has two co-chairs: Grupo Profand Sustainability Director Antonio Alvarez and Angulas Aguinaga Procurement Director Mari Carmen Fernandez.
  • The SR has decided to include Human Rights and Due Diligence topics in its strategy, and participants will have the opportunity to be trained during Q2-2024 with experts in HR policies and due diligence. Additionally, the SR will engage in specific Human Rights Impact Assessments in priority fisheries and countries.
  • An updated sector report is available here.
  • The SR participant companies met in a closed meeting during Seafood Expo North America in Boston to discuss the current strategy. A representative from the Mauritanian SMCP updated participants on Ministerial actions focused on FIP implementation.
  • At Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona, the SR is hosting an open meeting to inform companies about the SR’s work and invite them to join. We expect representatives from Mauritania to provide an update on FIP activities.
  • A new participant has joined the Global Octopus SR: FESBA
  • The FishSource profiles of common octopus from West Africa are being reviewed and will be updated in the coming weeks.
  • The Yucatan Octopus FIP is progressing and has maintained its A rating.
  • A new FIP was launched in February: Indonesia-Sulawesi Handline and Spear Octopus FIP. The FIP is in the process of becoming active on 
  • Contact SFP if you are sourcing O. cyanea and are interested in supporting improvement efforts in Indonesia.

Sector Background

The octopus sector comprises all octopus species (families Octopodidae, Eledonidae). Octopuses are mostly traded frozen; only small volumes are traded fresh/prepared or preserved. Octopus have high natural mortality and sensitivity to environmental conditions, so classic management measures may not be adequate for some species. At a global scale, most octopus production is from artisanal fishing spread out across large areas and involving many vessels, fishers, and low-impact fishing gears. A relevant volume of octopus is also caught as bycatch in bottom-trawl fisheries.

The artisanal and geographically distributed nature of octopus fisheries also necessitates a co-management approach, which will require investments in basic fisheries management in some countries. SFP has launched a new strategic initiative focused on small-scale fisheries, with specific focus on the use of co-management approaches to address fishery improvements within fisheries that have a high proportion of small-scale fishers.

Some of the globally relevant fisheries that are key for export markets have been assessed and already have some management strategies in place (Morocco, Mauritania, and Mexico). However, stock assessments are not carried out regularly and/or lack the required scientific robustness, and there are weaknesses in management. Furthermore, illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing occurs widely in these fisheries and there is a lack of institutional and supply chain transparency.

Other fisheries of importance (Senegal and South American and Southeast Asian fisheries) have not been a priority for management authorities, and there is thus a lack of data and fisheries management. In 2020, mislabeling issues were identified in the US market especially related to O. cyanea from Southeast Asia. These issues prevent the SR from engaging buyers in sustainability initiatives.


The following are the workplan activities and participant expectations for the Global Octopus SR:

  1. Improvements in science-based management, in fisheries with market leverage (Morocco, Mauritania, and Mexico)

Support the development and adequate progress of ongoing or prospective fishery improvement projects:

For the octopus fisheries in Morocco, Mauritania, and Mexico, SFP will work with the SR to promote a traditional FIP approach. If a FIP launch and implementation is not possible, the SR will maintain updated FishSource profiles and address the weaknesses identified.


2. Improvements in non-managed small-scale fisheries with lack of market leverage and mislabeling issues

Improve fisheries assessment and management by developing and implementing co-management strategies.

Participants are encouraged to request and support relevant activities in specific FIPs to engage fishers and strengthen their leadership capacity, and to work with their suppliers to conduct a review of their supply chains to understand the extent of their sourcing from small-scale fishers.

  • Fisher and fleet registration
  • Fisher organization.

To support SR participants with these efforts, SFP will develop materials and provide training on co-management initiatives.


3. Improve market leverage

Expand industry engagement to the foodservice sector in markets in the US, Spain, Italy, Japan, and Korea.

  • Strengthen SR participation criteria
  • Support participants to develop and improve sustainability policies.

To expand participation, SFP will participate in and organize meetings and virtual webinars to inform industry about the SR’s work. For the development of policies, SFP will develop recommendations and provide specific guidance on policy development.


4. Human Rights and Due Diligence

In recent years, there has been an important increase in corporate social responsibility legislation, with further regulations expected in the future. This momentum was initiated by the publication of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. These principles are a voluntary international standard that puts the responsibility to respect human rights on businesses.

To respond to expected new legislation, implementing the UNGPs and undertaking Human Rights Due Diligence is becoming the norm, and failing to do so could result in future lawsuits.

The SR participants will be trained in developing corporate social responsibility policy. Additionally, the SR participants will engage by 1) identifying appropriate tools and schemes to conduct HR due diligence in their businesses, 2) cooperating with experts to develop HR assessments in major squid fishing and processing sites, and 3) implementing purchasing procedures based on recommendations issued from the assessments. These actions will all be posted on their corporate websites.

The SR secretariat (SFP) will support participant companies to undertake the actions described above by

  1. Organizing educational and training webinars aligned with the topics of interest
  2. Coordinating with third party experts on the launch of new projects or collaborating on existing initiatives (e.g. HRDD, FIPs, etc.)
  3. Facilitating tools to support the overall strategy of the group (i.e., FishSource)

General SR support expectations

  • Actively participate in the SR – All participants should attend official SR meetings/webinars, respond to requests for engagement, participate in working groups, etc.
  • Participate in and support FIPs – All participants should source from FIP participants (when possible) and support FIP action plan activities. Additional projects related to fisheries management development, co-management, and bycatch-related issues should also be supported.
  • Monitor FIP progress and associated traceability issues.
  • Expand industry engagement and include key markets representation by engaging Italian, Japanese, and Korean buyers.
  • Agree to the SR workplan and complete and update the SR Participation Form on an annual basis.
  • New companies must cover the initial contribution of USD 5,000. Current participants must contribute the annual fee, which is USD 1500 for 2024. On a quarterly basis, SFP will review expenses and present potential projects or activities that may need funding for approval.
  • New applicants to the SR should apply for admission via e-mail to the current SR lead (Carmen González-Vallés), endorse the agreement of intent (GO SR statement of Intent), and sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Join This Roundtable

To join this Supply Chain Roundtable or for more information, please contact Carmen González-Vallés, or call SFP at 1-808-726-2582.