The Maya octopus a unique species endemic of Yucatan

(Photo: noticieros.televisa.com)

Mexico is the third largest octopus producer worldwide, with 39 thousand tons registered in 2017.

In the Yucatan alone, 12,000 tons are produced every year.

We have two species of octopus in Mexico:
Octopus maya, extracted mainly from Yucatan and Campeche.
Octopus vulgaris in Baja California.

“Until last year, the production of octopus from Yucatan ranked third in the world, placing Mexico in a very important place in terms of consumption and production of octopus,” said Carlos Rosas, responsible for the Octopus Maya program.

The octopus is extracted from August 1 to December 15 (octopus season).

15 thousand fishermen in the state of Yucatán consider that this season is the most productive of the year since they can earn up to 1,500 pesos a day.

“About 15 kilos (per day), and the price is around 100 or 115 pesos per kilo, “said Jorge Lara, fisherman.

“We’ve been having a good season so far, it has been great for us. Sometimes 30, sometimes 40, sometimes 50 and sometimes even 60 kilos per day, “said Gabriel Ceh, fisherman.

The governments of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo, work on obtaining the designation of origin of the Maya octopus, with the intention of providing added value to this product, a true asset for the fishing industry in the three states that make up the Yucatan Peninsula.

“The denomination of origin, classifies the octopus in the international market and allows to have a distinction in terms of its properties in size, taste, features and characteristics,” said Carlos Rosas, head of the Octopus Maya Program.

The designation of origin seeks to achieve competitive advantages and a status similar to the  Cod of Norway.

The main market is Europe and Asia, due to the quality of the Maya Octopus, which is the species that breeds in the Gulf of Mexico and that guarantees the economic sustainability of the Yucatrcan fishermen.

Chef Tower cooking octopus (TYT Archive)

Octopus in Yucatan

The National Fisheries Institute points out that the endemic species of Yucatan, the Maya Octopus, is recognized for its body symmetry, its great capacity for learning and physical development. Part of the results obtained by the research carried out by the National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Inapesca) at the Regional Fisheries Research Center (CRIP) in Yucalpetén, Yucatan, reveal that octopuses in the region are endangered by inadequate practices that some people make when carrying out illegal fishing in the region.

During the period of the closures, the use of chlorine or harpoon are the “techniques” that individuals use to capture octupus, considered as malignant for damaging the organisms that cohabit with it, as well as depleting existing populations, which represent a lower volume of capture in the short term to affect the environment because the recovery time of the latter is slow and gradual.

The octopus, belonging to the group of invertebrate animals, has a great intelligence thanks to the capture of information from its complex nervous system, which processes this information in its central brain. These fantastic animals are able to learn and memorize short and long term events, in addition to having very large eyes that allow them to visualize color images of their underwater environment.

It is estimated that for each female that is illegally captured during the closures, 800 juvenile octopuses are left without the possibility of life, that is, the species is diminished in its survival by the actions of humans, adding to the rest of sea predators that this marine animal confronts.

This species represents a highly valuable natural resource for the State of Yucatan, in terms of consumption and economic prodution, since 15,000 families depend on it, which places it in second place in the fisheries of the region, only behind the shrimp .

TYT Newsroom with information from noticieros.televisa.com



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