Undercurrent News March 22, 2019 09:31 BST

The long-awaited fisheries improvement project (FIP) for Mexico’s Yucatan octopus is now underway after a group of Mexican producers, processors and international exporters met to sign a memorandum of understanding at the Seafood Expo North America show this week.

Led by US seafood importer Netuno USA, the group included the companies Artisan Catch, Promarmex, Mas Pesca, Smart Fish, and LP Foods. Collectively, the firms have pledged to get the fishery to a level ready for certification from the Marine Stewardship Council within a couple of years.

Mauricio Orellana, managing director of Artisan Catch, said: “This FIP is designed to foster sustainable octopus fishing in the Yucatan and the central aim of the project will be to establish long-term economic benefits for our small-scale fisherman and expediting access to global markets interested in responsibly-sourced octopus.”

Mexico is the third-largest producer of octopus worldwide, registering 39,000 metric tons in volume in 2017. The Yucatan region itself produces 12,000t every year, which is then primarily exported to Europe and Asia.