Participatory management of the octopus fishery | - CCMAR -

Participatory management of the octopus fishery

In the Algarve, octopus is an important economic resource for local fishing communities. This marine animal grows very fast, has a short life cycle and exhibits high natural variability. Given these life-history traits, it is particularly important to monitor and study the octopus fishery.
To promote the sustainability of this activity in the Algarve, CCMAR carried out a series of participatory sessions called "Tertúlia do Polvo", which aimed to discuss the management of this fishery together with stakeholders.
Between 2014 and 2016, our researchers promoted a total of 14 participatory sessions gathering the several stakeholders involved in octopus fishing in the Algarve. The " Tertúlias do Polvo" brought together fishermen's associations, government institutions and researchers, among others. These sessions were split into two cycles. In the first cycle (2014-2015), participants discussed measures and management strategies for the octopus’s fishery, and in the second cycle (2015-2016), participants discussed several other topics related to the sustainability of this fishery were addressed.
As a result of the " Tertúlias do Polvo", in 2016 we published the book " Livro Verde sobre a Pesca do Polvo no Algarve", which compiled the perspectives of all stakeholders on the definition and implementation of measures and management strategies for this fishery. We also launched a communication campaign targeting different media and published several scientific articles in international journals.
“Tertúlias do Polvo” enable the drafting of effective proposals for changes in national legislation. These proposals, discussed in the participatory process, were analyzed by the Direção Geral de Recursos Marinhos, which took them to the community for approval, and the implementation of a closure for this fishery was approved. The measure is under evaluation.