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GLOBEFISH - Information and Analysis on World Fish Trade

Supplies of octopus have increased, and this has resulted in weaker prices on the main markets


Supplies of octopus improved significantly in 2015, and this is reflected in trade statistics. Japanese imports increased strongly during the first nine months of 2015, and this trend continued through the fourth quarter. Total octopus imports into Japan in 2015 amounted to 50 900 tonnes, up 27.6% compared with 2014. However, it should be noted that Japanese octopus imports were rather low in 2014, at 39 900 tonnes, compared with 58 400 tonnes in 2013. This was related to slow demand in 2914 as well as tighter supplies. As can be seen from the 2015 rising import trend, demand has recovered. The two major suppliers (Morocco and Mauritania) both increased shipments to Japan in 2015, while other suppliers experienced little change.

Spanish octopus imports also took a jump in 2015, from 46 900 tonnes in 2014 to 56 500 tonnes in 2015. Again, improved supplies from Mauritania and Morocco accounted for practically all of the increase, while the other suppliers remained level.

Over the years, a number of researchers have tried to achieve success in octopus farming, with varied results. Now, the Mariculture Experimental Station of the National Institute for Fisheries Research in Argentina has reported some success with their farming experiments. By the end of 2016, the researchers hope to have adult and juvenile specimens as well as eggs for acclimatization to captivity. At the same time, the Kanaloa Octopus Farm on Hawaii is working on experiments to rear octopus in an aquarium. The owners hope to be able to produce octopus for heman consumption soon.

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