A second octopus season without sales to Europe is looming, European customers of the mollusk are still not buying and it could be just like last year, when there were no sales in that market.
The European market is still not reacting, there are still no sales to that continent. The octopus that is caught goes to the national market, informed Víctor Zacarías Solís, delegate of the National Chamber of the Fishing and Aquaculture Industry (CANAINPESCA) in Yucatán and president of the company EXPORTAMAR.
In 2022, Europe did not buy Yucatecan octopus; what was caught was destined for the domestic market, but not all of it was moved, in the freezers there remained octopus caught in 2022, so fishing for the mollusk began on August 1, 2023, he said.
The current octopus fishing season does not look good, the outlook is not flattering for the fishing sector.
This second month of the mollusk fishing season is difficult, said Zacarías Solís, since it had a complicated closing in August because the weather forced to paralyze all the fishing fleet, both coastal and larger.
At the end of August, the boats of the Yucalpetén fleet returned from the first trip with catches of 3,500 to 4,000 kilos. Other fishermen had even lower catches.
Fishing came to a standstill in the last days of August because cyclone “Idalia”, passing from the Caribbean Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, caused the “chikin ic”, a northwest wind, which generated swell that is no good for octopus catchers.
September began with a low numbers: some of the boats obtained 10 to 15 kilos and others only five kilos, which is not profitable for the fishermen due to the price of fuel and bait, so they decided to wait a few days until the weather improves and the sea conditions allow them to go out fishing.
The Mayor of Progreso, Yucatán, Julián Zacarías Solís pointed out that, according to reports, the big-eye octopus (Octopus vulgaris) has already appeared and with this, there is hope that the boats of the larger fleet will return from the second trip with better catches and good news for the fishing sector.
Regarding the working group that the federal Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development started the day before yesterday to obtain the declaration of geographical indication (GI) of “Mayan octopus from the Yucatan Peninsula” to protect this product as intellectual property, Zacarias Solis said that it is a good proposal. The Mayor affirmed that his administration is going to investigate this situation in detail.