People involved in octopus fisheries and production got an overview of the recent studies. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles is looking for ways to ensure that octopus fisheries remain sustainable and recent studies have been done to learn more about the species.
People involved in octopus fisheries and production got an overview of the recent studies and were able to ask questions and recommend actions that can be taken to protect the sustainability of the species in a workshop on Wednesday at Eden Bleu Hotel.
One of the studies focused on the value chain of octopus in Seychelles, which is a component of fisheries that looks at every aspect of the sector.
Ameer Ebrahim, a local consultant on the project for the Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) explained that research required questionnaires for those involved. The questions were on the size of the octopus caught, where they were caught, and the price at which they are sold, among others.
He explained that according to their studies, over 200 tonnes of octopus are caught per year in Seychelles. He also spoke of the large amount of octopus imported to Seychelles.
“I think that the reason for so much imported octopus is the price. The price to import an octopus is about half the price of that on the local market,” said Ebrahim.
He added that there is also a lack of consistency in the supply of the product locally.
|One of the studies focused on the value chain of octopus in Seychelles. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Octopus is a much-loved seafood in Seychelles and features widely in the island nation’s cuisine. Cooked as a traditional curry, with eggplant in coconut milk, octopus is also consumed as a salad with tomatoes, red onions, green chilies and a squeeze of lemon juice. With a modern twist, the octopus can also be barbecued.
With this workshop, the researches were shared with those present and according to Ebrahim, this could lead to certain measures being put in place. This will ensure the sustainable stock of octopus in Seychelles, such as introducing a season where the fishing of the species will be restricted for a period, to allow for reproduction.
At the moment, there are no restrictions in place on octopus fisheries, and in his address during the workshop, the Minister for Fisheries and Blue Economy, Jean-Francois Ferrari, shared the examples of other nations in the region, who have benefitted greatly from such measures.
“We want to prepare several exchanges with other countries in the Indian Ocean region, where they have had success and so we want to learn from it,” said Ferrari, giving the example of Rodrigues, who after proper management of their stock, are now exporting huge amounts of octopus.
After the workshops, a report will be presented to the government, after which decisions will be made on what proper measures will be put in place.