Name of Fishery Octopus Fishery (Gear –Trawl)

Target Species Amphioctopus neglectus (Neglected ocellate octopus)

Location Kerala

Fishing Area FAO 

Fishery History Commercial trawling for cephalopods in Kerala started in the late 70s. The annual cephalopod landings of Kerala which was just about 100 t in 1961 increased to 43,213 t in 2017 in which octopus contributed 11.9 %. Kerala’s cephalopod decadal average landings between 2002 -2017 was 35,593 t. The majority of landings are currently captured within 20 km of the coast at an average depth of 50m. Among the octopus landings, A. neglectus is the dominant species. Most of the catch is exported. 

Stock Biology Biological Information such as dominant size group in fishery, age, growth, survival, life span, Length at first maturity, sex ratio, spawning season,  fecundity, etc. are available. Other information such as growth and mortality parameters, standing and spawning stock biomass, exploitation ratio, CPUE, landings, are also available. 

Data on Target 

Species population Landing data for A. neglectus are available from 2008 onwards.   Fisheries data are collected through CMFRI designed Multi-Stage Random Sampling methodCatch per unit effort data is also collected. CMFRI collects, manages, and stores the data. 

Fishing Activities Details of fishing activities such as methods, gear, vessel size/season fished are available

Volume caught 1821 to 2666 tonnes (5 years)

Ecosystem Impacts Any fishing gear that is towed over the seabed will disturb the sediment and the resident community to some degree. The intensity of this disturbance is very much depended on the details of the gear and the sediment type (Hall, 2000). Physical disturbance leads to community changes in the benthos (Ball et al., 2000). There are no ETP species encountered during the fishery. 

Threats to Sustainability Most of these studies indicated that cephalopods were either under exploited or optimally exploited. Cephalopods are not a targeted fishery along the Indian coast (excepting seasonally along the SW coast) and therefore, it is difficult to set management targets and many of the models applied would have little relevance.

Fishers Management Agencies Department of Fisheries, Govt. of Kerala. Scientific advices are provided by CMFRI.  Apart from these, there are no species specific management agencies to monitor this resource. 

Management Regime KMFR Act

Management Compliance Yes fishers comply with management regime if it is applied through their concurrence and knowledge.  

Community Participation in Management Management Councils with fisher participations recently introduced. 

Processing and Marketing Almost all the catch of cephalopod is exported. More than 8 types of products of octopus are processed and exported. The main markets for export of Indian cephalopods are Europe, Japan and China. 

Interest in Certification Fishery interest in certification will be decided based on stakeholder meeting shortly

Stakeholders Key stakeholders are fishers, buyers and processors/exporters

Issues Requiring Special Attention

Additional Comments


Ball, B., Munday, B., Tuck, I., 2000.  Effects of otter trawling on the benthos and environment in muddy sediments. In: Kaiser, K.J., De Groot, S.J. (Eds.). The Effect of Fishing on Non-target species and Habitats, Blackwell Science, Japan. 69 – 81. 

Hall, S. J. 2000. The Effect of Fishing on Marine Ecosystems and Communities, Blackwell Science, Japan. 274.