Octopus season, light of hope for the fishermen of Yucatán

This August 1st, the capture season of this mollusk begins on the Yucatecan coasts. Photo: (Reporteros Hoy)

Mérida, Yucatán, (July 30, 2021).- The octopus season represents a light of hope for fishermen on the Yucatan coast, for whom the situation has been complicated this year, mainly due to strong winds and weather conditions.

In addition, they stressed that another problem that threatens fishing is poaching, which is an “organized mafia” and that in addition to affecting species, they damage the marine ecosystem; “They traffic and they do sell species in Veda“. 

This Sunday, August 1st, the octopus catching season begins on the Yucatecan coasts. The National Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission (Conapesca) specified that the minimum sizes allowed for the extraction of the mollusk are 110 millimeters in the length of the mantle (“head”).

José Novelo Chac, president of the Federation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Cooperatives and Tourist Services in Celestún, predicted that this season will be good, because in the face of scarcity, octopus is priced at 100 pesos per kilo, and the price is expected to increase accordingly. As the season progresses, although they are estimates, he said there is still no specific price. 

Last year’s catch “was very bad,” he said, since due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all the export plants had enough tons of octopus in stock, so they bought at a low price; between 50 and 60 pesos, and closed at 80 pesos per kilo. 

“So if now it starts at 100 pesos, we think it would go up to 140 pesos,” estimated the fisherman.

The product they collect is sold in Progreso to export plants to be taken to Europe, he said.

On the other hand, he commented that in these months of 2021 the fishing has been bad, for the times, the strong winds that prevent them from going out to fish, they can only go out once a week, however sometimes up to once a fortnight. “The winds have picked up a lot, they haven’t let us go fishing, the weather! … time! ” He lamented.

For Novelo Chac, this is due to global warming, climate change, and the damage humans have caused to ecosystems and the planet, as fishermen had not experienced this type of phenomenon in other years.

Source: La jornada maya

The Yucatan Times Newsroom