Management Committee of the Octopus Fishery

Atsimo Andrefana

For a sustainably managed octopus fishery in Madagascar

The Committee de gestion de la Pêcherie de Poulpe (CGP), or Octopus Fishery Management Committee, is dedicated to improving the sustainability of southern Madagascar’s most important export fishery. The platform brings together fishers, buyers, government and technical partners to share experiences and best practises to promote a responsible, sustainable and profitable fishery for Octopus cyanea.

Fished from shallow coral reefs along 500km of Madagascar’s southwest coast, octopus is a vital source of income for coastal communities, where extreme poverty is widespread. The fishery is particularly important for women, who glean octopus on foot at low tide using spears. International demand for octopus has grown enormously in recent decades, with primary export markets including Spain, Italy and France, as well as Mauritius and parts of Asia.

Over recent years communities, NGOs, buyers and government partners have introduced a range of measures to improve the sustainability of the fishery. Since 2004, periodic village-level fisheries closures, an annual six week regional fishery closure, a minimum harvest size, and bans on destructive fishing have all been adopted to help to manage the fishery. Octopus fisheries are very responsive to short term closures − given very rapid exponential growth rates − and noticeable improvements have been recorded in catch size and abundance following short term closures.

A Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) was launched in 2019 to help engage the value chain in efforts to prevent stock depletion, reduce the environmental impacts of fishing and ensure sustained economic opportunities for the coastal communities.

The platform was legally established in March 2020 as an Association under the southwest regional fisheries directorate governed by the Malagasy law “Ordonnance no 60-133 du 03 octobre 1960 portant régime général des associations et son décret d’application no 60-383 du 05 Octobre 1960”.

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