There has been a shortage of octopus by the end of the fishing week. (Photo: Stock File/FIS)
Shortages of octopus in Galicia worrying for ship owners
Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 04:30 (GMT + 9)
Although during the early days of the octopus fishing season in Galician waters quotas were easily covered -- 30 kilograms per crew member per day, and further 30 kilograms per ship -- at the end of the week the situation worsened.
According to small-scale owners from Galicia, in the last days of the first fishing week a shortage of octopus was recorded, which resulted in making each kilogram to be quoted for USD 10 in auction.
The sector members consulted by the newspaper La Opinión admitted that there is also a "substantial" increase in cost in relation to other seasons.
The owners consider the situation will worsen and the catches will not stabilize until September 2012.
The fishery was opened by the Ministry of the Rural and Maritime Environment of Xunta de Galicia on Monday, 2 July, after a two month ban on this cephalopod capture.
According to the available data in the market of A Coruña, the product was about EUR 5 in the auction on Wednesday, 4 July and reached EUR 9 (the largest fish).
Meanwhile, in the last days of the week, the average value of octopus -- between one kilogram and a half and two kilograms -- increased up to EUR 8 while the largest specimens, which exceeded 2 kilograms, were sold for EUR 10 on average.
The president of the Retailers Association of the Port of A Coruña, Fernando José Espantoso, commented small octopus – between one kilogram and one kilogram and a half -- were auctioned at a price between EUR 6 and EUR 7.
"There is a considerable increase in the price of octopus because catches are very low. It is not surprising to us, before the ban not many specimens were captured and this is happening to us with all the products," Espantoso stated.
The secretary of Small-Scale Ship-owners Association from Galicia (Asoar-Armega), José Luis Rodríguez, said the ships are not completing their quotas, which is added to the fact that the size of the octopus is falling and the price is becoming volatile.
"The closures are designed so as to have more species, and this is not happening. It will be necessary to wait until September to see if the situation stabilizes," he added.
- After a two-month ban, octopus fishery reopens
By Analia Murias