Mauritania Octopus Season Closure Impacts Prices in Europe

Mauritania octopus

The Mauritania Ministry of Fisheries has announced a significant development in its marine resource management: the closure of the octopus fishing season effective April 20th. This halt affects all cephalopod fishing activities within the country’s territorial waters, spanning manual, coastal, and nearshore fishing methods. Coinciding with this, Morocco has also suspended its first octopus season from April 1st until May 31st, underscoring a regional effort towards sustainable fisheries.

Impact of Seasonal Closure on Octopus Prices

The cessation of octopus fishing in Mauritania and Morocco has led to noticeable shifts in market dynamics across Europe. As the supply dwindles, the demand remains steady or even increases, pushing prices upward. Current market prices for Moroccan octopus, as per size specification, reflect this trend:

  • T1 and T2 specifications: 15 euros/kg
  • T3 specification: 13.5 euros/kg
  • T4 specification: 11.5 euros/kg
  • T5 specification: 10.5 euros/kg
  • T6 specification: 10 euros/kg
  • T7 specification: 8.5 euros/kg
  • T8 specification: 8 euros/kg

These adjustments in pricing illustrate the immediate financial impact of the fishing closures on the seafood market.

Reasons Behind the Fishing Suspension

The Mauritania Ministry of Fisheries has articulated clear reasons for this temporary cessation of octopus fishing. The primary goal is to allow for the replenishment and sustainability of the octopus populations, which are vital to the ecological and economic health of the region. This proactive measure is aimed at preventing overfishing and ensuring that future generations can also benefit from this resource.

Regional Price Trends and Market Impact

Spain, a major player in processing and distributing octopus, is particularly feeling the pinch. The reduction in supply has led to a spike in prices within the country, which is one of the largest consumers of octopus in Europe. When comparing current prices to those from the previous two years, there is a clear upward trend in 2024, indicating a strain on supply chains and an adjustment in market strategies to cope with decreased availability.

Broader Economic Effects of the Seasonal Closure

The rising prices of octopus have broader implications for buyers and distributors across Europe. These stakeholders are now forced to navigate a market where high prices may dampen consumer demand or lead to seeking alternative seafood options. Moreover, the entire seafood supply chain could face disruptions, which might have long-term economic effects on the region’s seafood industry.

Future Outlook for Octopus Fishing

Looking ahead, the Mauritania Ministry of Fisheries, along with regional stakeholders, is considering adjustments for future fishing seasons. These considerations will likely focus on balancing market demand with sustainable fishing practices to ensure both economic viability and ecological health. The ongoing discussions will shape how the region approaches octopus fishing, aiming to establish a model that supports sustainable practices while meeting consumer and industry needs.


The closure of the octopus fishing season in Mauritania and Morocco has led to significant changes in the European octopus market, characterized by rising prices and supply constraints. These developments underscore the importance of sustainable fishing practices, which not only protect marine biodiversity but also support the long-term viability of the seafood industry. As the region adapts to these changes, the commitment to sustainability will likely become a cornerstone of future regulatory and business strategies in the seafood sector.

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