Cephalopod fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean

We have just sent our draft report for the assessment of several cephalopod fisheries in the North and Central Atlantic Ocean which is currently being reviewed. The report includes several industrial and small-scale fisheries in Europe and Northwest Africa, including French, Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, which made our work harder as we needed to gather, read, summarize and translate information from all these languages to the final English version of the report.

Due to its special biological characteristics (short-life cycles and variable growth rates influenced by environmental variability) which make them both potentially susceptible to overfishing but also capable of rapid recovery, cephalopods are difficult to assess and manage. Countries in the area are improving the managament of these fisheries and several management plans have been implemented. However, much more work still needs to be done. A better monitoring (monthly data on catches, effort, biological parameters, etc) of these fisheries would be necessary in order to implement a Ecosystem Based Management for cephalopod stocks. However, despite the importance of these resources for many industrial and small-scale fisheries in the area, there are still large data gaps which need to be investigated, including: reliable species’ identification, adequate definition of target stocks, knowledge of the ecological role of the species, etc. Management measures could then include catch quotas, gear restrictions, closed areas and seasons for protecting spawners and recruitment, deployed flexibly to account for variable abundance, market-based solutions, etc.

For more info please see:

Jereb, P., Allcock, A.L., Lefkaditou, E., Piatkowski, U., Hastie, L.C., and Pierce, G.J. (Eds.) 2015. Cephalopod biology and fisheries in Europe: II. Species Accounts. ICES Cooperative Research Report No. 325. 360 pp.

Pierce, G.J., Robin, J-P., Montero-Castaño, C., Barrett, C., Laptikhovsky, V., González, A.F., Moreno, A., Rocha, A., Santos, M.B., Valeiras, J., Abad, E., Perales-Raya, C., Sobrino, I., Silva, L., Santurtun, M., Iriondo, A., Lischenko, F., Jones, J., Oesterwind, D., Villasante, S., Pita, C., Power, A.M., Allcock, L., Hendrickson, L.. 2020. Assessment of cephalopods in European waters: state of the art and ways forward. Available at: https://www.cephsandchefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/ICES-poster-ceph-assessment-final-version-2-gjp.pdf

Day octopus (Octopus cyanea) ready to be sold (Photo: Jose Peiro Crespo)

New year, new clients..

We have started the year working in a variety of projects for old and new clients such as the MBA, the GSSI, WWF and the IFFO. 2020 promises to be a great year for our consultancy with potential new projects in Spain, Ecuador, Sri Lanka or Saudi Arabia. If you need consultants specialized in fisheries and aquaculture development projects, please do not hesitate in contacting us at josepeirocrespo@gmail.com

Diving into the fisheries world


New projects

We have just finished our project about sustainable fisheries in Sri Lanka and an assessment for the Monterey Bay Aquarium of several squid fisheries in Asia. But work never stops here and we are just starting a new assessment for several octopus fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, which will keep us busy until the end of the year. So, we are back to our favourite species: common octopus (O. vulgaris).

Gear used by the Natural Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) in Sri Lanka for baby octopus fishing trials undertaken in the north of the country (Photo: Jose Peiro Crespo)
Baby octopus ready to be exported (Photo: Jose Peiro Crespo)

Sri Lanka – Site visit

We have just come back from Sri Lanka where we have met several fisheries stakeholders, including industry, scientific body and government agencies. During this time, we have learnt a lot about fisheries in the country which target a wide range of species, including tuna, crabs (blue swimming crab, mud crab), lobsters, freshwater fish, etc. Fisheries and aquaculture products in the country has a huge potential to target international seafood markets but there are some issues that need to be addressed. We are now preparing a report for our client listing the strengths and weaknesses that we have identified and setting recommendations to improve market access of these seafood products.

Fisherman in a river in Colombo (Sri Lanka) (Picture: Jose Peiro Crespo)

We have also discovered that Sri Lanka is a beautiful country where you feel welcome.

Fishermen catching sardine near Galle (South of Sri Lanka)

Sustainable fisheries in Sri Lanka

We are currently working for the Market Development Facility (MDF) and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) undertaking an international market assessment of sustainable seafood sources to engage the Sri Lanka seafood industry to move towards premium/niche market segments such as sustainably sourced/socially responsible/equitable seafood. The main objectives of the project are:

  1. Ascertain the revenue and growth potential of sustainability conscious seafood segments of the international market and promote more buy in of this concept from industry players.
  2. Identify suitable brand propositions for the development of a Ceylon/ Sri Lanka international seafood brand;
  3. Provide incentive for the Sri Lanka seafood industry to move towards premium markets to improve revenues and better returns on investments.

We are just finishing the desk-based study and we will visit the country from mid June until the end of the month to meet relevant stakeholders in the country. If you have any interest in Sri Lankan fisheries or sustainable markets, please contact us.

Project proposals (market studies and fisheries assessments)

During the last two weeks we have been busy preparing proposals for market studies and fisheries assessments in Angola, U.S. and Peru. For some of this projects, the ToRs asked for very specific profiles, such as fish engineers, very difficult to find in Europe. So, if your are a marine biologist or similar, with more than 5 years of experience in fisheries/aquaculture projects and you speak several languages (a good command of the english language is compulsatory but we also need portuguese and french speaking consultants), please send us your CV to the e-mail that appears in our website. We will include your CV in our database.

Comments for the MSC assessment “Joint demersal fisheries in the North Sea and adjacent waters”

In recent weeks, we have been collaborating with a NGO in the preparation of the comments for the public stakeholder comments’ stage of the MSC certification assessment of the “Joint demersal fisheries in the North Sea and adjacent waters” . This assessment covers several fisheries previously assessed separately by the MSC, including: CVO North Sea plaice and sole, Danish and Swedish nephrops, Denmark Skagerrak and the Norwegian Deep cold-water prawn, DFPO Denmark North Sea & Skagerrak cod & saithe, DFPO Denmark North Sea & Skagerrak haddock, DFPO Denmark North Sea plaice, DFPO Denmark North Sea sole, DFPO Denmark North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat hake and plaice, Germany North Sea saithe trawl, Sweden Skagerrak, Kattegat and the Norwegian Deep cold-water prawn. The high number of stocks included in this report makes it a very complicated assessment which has required the collaborative work of several consultants and NGO staff working in the different countries covered by the assessment.

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Sustainable Seafood Consumer Guides

We have just started to work drafting some of the fishery assessments upon which a well-known NGO base its Sustainable Seafood Consumer Guide. This is the fifth year in which we collaborate in this project. We find it very interesting because it gives us a very good knowledge about how the fisheries are evolving over years and the improvements that fisheries management is experiencing in different countries. This year we have got assessments for fish, shrimp and cephalopod fisheries in Argentina, Canada, Norway or The Azores (Portugal).
To know more about the most sustainable fish and shellfish choices for your dinner during the next Christmas, please visit the following link:

Coryphaena sp. (Foto: Juan Vilata)

MSC capacity building training level 2 course

Since the beginning of September we have been very busy here. Two weeks ago, we attended a capacity building training course at the Marine Stewardship Council’s headquarters in London. It was very interesting to know a bit more about the problems the MSC experts face when scoring a fishery against the MSC standard. The course was attended by MSC fisheries experts, government agencies and NGO’s representatives, MSC staff, etc. So, it was a good place to learn a bit more about the projects in which they are currently involved.