Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

Workshop Report – Scaling success in octopus fisheries management in the Western Indian Ocean

Workshop Report – Scaling success in octopus fisheries management in the Western Indian Ocean

The past decade has seen a proliferation of management efforts targeting small-scale fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). Many measures have focused on building local capacity for management of reef octopus (Octopus cyanea) and several fisheries have undergone pre-assessment against the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) environmental standard. Recent years have seen a growing interest in fisheries improvement projects (FIPs) for invertebrate fisheries across the region, including some octopus fisheries moving towards MSC certification. As part of this effort, the Scaling success in octopus fisheries management in the Western Indian Ocean workshop was held from 03-05 December 2014 in Stone Town, Zanzibar. The meeting brought together 66 delegates representing governments, NGOs, fishing communities, regional organisations, academic institutions and the seafood industry to share experiences and lessons learned from efforts undertaken across the Western Indian Ocean to improve fisheries sustainability. The meeting was structured around five sessions over three days: i) Status and trends of WIO octopus fisheries and markets; ii) Local and national management approaches; iii) Overcoming data and capacity gaps for monitoring octopus fisheries; iv) Management challenges for attaining the MSC standard; and v) Towards certification – developing and implementing octopus fisheries improvement action plans.

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