Octopus fishing boats. (Photo: Luis Eustaquio/FIS)
Low prices discourage octopus fishers
Friday, October 05, 2012, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
More than half of the large-scale and the small-scale fishing fleets stopped capturing the octopus in Yucatan water and opted to pursue other fisheries, such as those of scaled species.
Industry sources explain that this is because the resource is scarce and its selling price fell during this season, which began on 1 August.
According to the president of the Federation of Fishing Societies of Centro-Poniente de Yucatán, Jose Luis Carrillo Galaz, from the start of the fishing season about 3,500 tonnes of octopus were landed.
This volume is very low compared with that obtained in other seasons and it is expected that it will be difficult to achieve the production goal set for 2012, about 11,800 tonnes, pointed out the leader.
In addition, he said that "the average price of octopus is MXN 48 (USD 3.70) at the beach, when last year it reached MXN 110 (USD 8.60)." This is a significant drop, which explains why the fishery is not attractive for many fishers, Notimex reported.
Currently, the large-scale fishing fleet has more than 500 boats and the small-scale one has more than 20,000 coastal vessels.
The latest data indicate that it is likely that between 8,000 and 10,000 tonnes of octopus will be caught before 15 December, when the ban begins.
In this regard, Galaz Carrillo said: "Despite all the facts, the figure would be positive, consolidating the octopus, one of the state's most important fisheries."
The value of the octopus for boat owners is maintained around MXN 40 (USD 3.10) and for fishers, between MXN 12 (USD 0.90) and MXN 14 (USD 1.10), reported SIPSE.
"When the season began, in the first two trips we returned early because we had a good catch, but right now we spend more than 20 days at sea in order to bring very little," explained the owner of a fishing vessel.
By Analia Murias