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Last updated on 4 October 2018

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Octopus mimus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Changos octopus, Pulpo del norte, Pulpo burlón

Changos octopus, previously known as Octopus vulgaris but differentiated first morphologically and then with genetic testing (Perez-Losada et al. 2002)(Warnke et al. 2000), is distributed from Peru or even Ecuador in the north until the V region of Chile in the south, from 0 to 30 meters deep (Guerra et al. 1999).

In order to differentiate which populations are the source and which ones are receivers of larvae (Galleguillos et al. 2010) found that several populations are separated genetically in the north of Chile, with a connection through larval dispersion from southern populations to the northern ones. (Pizarro et al. 2009) found a spatial correlation in population structure with spatial scales of upwelling events and the topography of the coastline. Despite the information available, the stock structure is not clear; further studies need to be conducted.

Management in Chile considers only one unit, and measures are related to the regions with most landings (XV-III). Another management regime exists in Chile, called MEABRs (Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources), but landings are minor compared to the general regime, according to yearly Sernapesca statistics reports (in the period 2012-2016 total landings were 8271 tons and only 303 tons, 3.6%, corresponded to MEABR landings; (SERNAPESCA n.d.)).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • This resource has a high reproductive potential, important for recovery plans.
  • This resource is included in a monitoring program for benthic fisheries and the main harbors are regularly monitored. 
  • No major interactions are expected to occur with the habitat or the ecosystem.
Weaknesses
  • There are no management objectives or plan for this resource.
  • Scientific advice has not been followed by managers. Existing measures are not adequate for the species' sustainability: the minimum weight size (defined when there was misidentification of species' landings), allows the fishery to be sustained by immature individuals; the temporal closure exposes nesting females to harvest, being the reproductive potential currently compromised.
  • There are discrepancies on landings' records from the monthly monitoring program performed by IFOP and the records from the surveillance and enforcement entity, Sernapesca. There are signs of unregulated and illegal fishing.
  • The non-selective gear in use harms individuals under the minimum landing weight.
  • There are no studies on the impact that this fishery might have on the environment. Bycatch of non-protected species is known to occur but is not quantified. There are no specific mitigation measures in place for bycatch.
  • The Chilean marine habitats and ecosystem are not described. 
Options
  • A management plan needs to be developed.
  • Improve the data gathering system, both by assessment and enforcement entities.
  • Stock assessment should be performed, and in the meanwhile, implement precautionary measures, such as reference points, to avoid overexploiting the resource. 
  • Management measures in place need to be adapted to the species according to the scientific recommendations made to protect the reproductive component. 
  • Research on better, more selective, gears that would keep a high efficiency.
  • Populations' connectivity and structure need to be studied to support an adequate management of the resource. 

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

< 6

Fishers Compliance:

< 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

< 6

Future Health:

< 6


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Chile XV-III Chile Diving

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 4 October 2018

Strengths
  • This resource has a high reproductive potential, important for recovery plans.
  • This resource is included in a monitoring program for benthic fisheries and the main harbors are regularly monitored. 
  • No major interactions are expected to occur with the habitat or the ecosystem.
Weaknesses
  • There are no management objectives or plan for this resource.
  • Scientific advice has not been followed by managers. Existing measures are not adequate for the species' sustainability: the minimum weight size (defined when there was misidentification of species' landings), allows the fishery to be sustained by immature individuals; the temporal closure exposes nesting females to harvest, being the reproductive potential currently compromised.
  • There are discrepancies on landings' records from the monthly monitoring program performed by IFOP and the records from the surveillance and enforcement entity, Sernapesca. There are signs of unregulated and illegal fishing.
  • The non-selective gear in use harms individuals under the minimum landing weight.
  • There are no studies on the impact that this fishery might have on the environment. Bycatch of non-protected species is known to occur but is not quantified. There are no specific mitigation measures in place for bycatch.
  • The Chilean marine habitats and ecosystem are not described. 
Options
  • A management plan needs to be developed.
  • Improve the data gathering system, both by assessment and enforcement entities.
  • Stock assessment should be performed, and in the meanwhile, implement precautionary measures, such as reference points, to avoid overexploiting the resource. 
  • Management measures in place need to be adapted to the species according to the scientific recommendations made to protect the reproductive component. 
  • Research on better, more selective, gears that would keep a high efficiency.
  • Populations' connectivity and structure need to be studied to support an adequate management of the resource. 

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 4 October 2018

Previously considered as Octopus vulgaris, the species was singled as O. mimus in 2000 by the management entity, considering morphologic evidences (Cortez et al. 1998) and genetic tests (Perez-Losada et al. 2002)(Warnke et al. 2000) (Sernapesca's statistic reports available here). Later, in 2007, management split records of O. mimus from those in southern Chile, of Patagonian giant octopus Enteroctopus megalocyathus (Subpesca 2018), and separated with it the access to the northern and southern octopus fisheries (Subpesca 2013). Therefore, there have been two different sources of uncertainty with information, one considering it to be a different species making management not count with appropriate tools to present measures for the resource; the second is the combination of landings' volumes from the two different species, which later has been resolved by looking at the origin of captures, since both species apparently do not share locations (Subpesca 2018).

There have been three studies specifically on the Chango octopus, all three of them between 1998 and 1999, two focused on biological parameters (Araya et al. 1999)(Cortez et al. 1998) and one evaluated the fishery, but did not perform a stock assessment (Gonzalez et al. 1998). Later, two more reports have taken O. mimus into consideration on sustainability strategies for benthic fisheries (Pizarro et al. 2009) and molecular characterization and connectivity of benthic resources (Galleguillos et al. 2010). This resource does not count with current stock assessments.

Since 2013 there is a monitoring program (developed by the Fisheries Development Institute, IFOP) for benthic resources that produces annual reports and performs monthly samplings on the main harbors in terms of landings. Records characterize the activity, collect data on individual parameters and volumes. It was recently pointed out that there are major differences in landings' records from this program and records from the surveillance and enforcement entity, Sernapesca, bringing uncertainty to both records (Barahona et al. 2016).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 4 October 2018

The misidentification of the species brought a major consequence to management since the minimum capture weight was set according to the common octopus' biological parameters in 1985. At least since 1998 it was published that this species was in fact O. mimus and had a different biology, noting that weights at first maturation were higher than 1 kilogram: 1,439 g in the I region, 1,524 g in the II region and finally 1,910 g in the III region (Cortez et al. 1998). Therefore, the 1000 g minimum weight measure is an underestimation and foments the capture of juvenile individuals. Several reports find the occurrence of individuals under the minimum legal weight, with low (around 3-4% (Barahona et al. 2014)), or higher occurrence (from 20 to 60% depending on the sex and the year (Barahona et al. 2016)(Galleguillos et al. 2010)(Gonzalez et al. 1998)).

The predominant fishing gear consists on a hook at the end of a stick, that allows the diver to reach caves and crevices where the octopuses might be (Barahona et al. 2014). This situation, where fishermen do not see the individuals most of the time, does not allow the selection of sex or even size of octopus (Barahona et al. 2016) and has been described for another resource (E. megalocyathus) to produce great damage to underweighted individuals and that fishermen might extract nesting females, leaving postures unattended and vulnerable (Chong et al. 2001).

As well as for the southern octopus, conflicts with temporal closures have been brought up, and new legislation was created for the chango octopus. However, it was pointed out that when the closure ends, on February 28th, there are still many nesting females, that are easily harvested since they do not leave the eggs unattended until they hatch. The end of the closure is therefore proposed to be delayed until March 15th (Pizarro et al. 2009).

Since the habitat conditions are variable, it is not expected of this resource to have a strict reproductive cycle, and reproductive females are found throughout the entire year (Cortez et al. 1995); and growing in changing conditions implies that growth rates might change considerably among sub-cohorts (Cortez et al. 1999). It is because of this that the resource is considered to be unpredictable and fluctuant (Barahona et al. 2016)(Subpesca 2010), generating uncertainty on the presence of the resource and its relation to environmental conditions (Subpesca 2010). This is why precautionary measurements are proposed for the stock (Barahona et al. 2016)(Subpesca 2010), and as long as there is not a better source of information and assessment, precautionary reference points should be generated (Barahona et al. 2016).

Finally, it is important to consider populations’ connectivity which, in the case of octopus is generated by the larval stage, that in turn has as a source the southern populations and as a sink the northern ones (Galleguillos et al. 2010). This generates larger populations in the northern areas (Galleguillos et al. 2010), which could relate to the higher fishing activity in regions I and II (Araya et al. 1999)(Barahona et al. 2016)(Galleguillos et al. 2010)(Subpesca 2010). These characteristics are therefore of major importance to the assessment and to the management of the species in Chile.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 4 October 2018

There is no stock assessment being conducted. According to the description of the fishery from 2005 to 2015, and considering the maturation weight identified by (Cortez T et al. 1998), the fishery has been sustained by the catch of juveniles, with up to 83% in regions I and III, and up to 94% in region II, leading to a growth overexploitation situation (Barahona et al. 2016). It has actually been mentioned that the stock is either overexploited or severely affected(Pizarro et al. 2009). Besides, there is a clear decrease, yet fluctuant, in landings since the late 90s (Subpesca 2010)(Subpesca 2018)

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 4 October 2018

There are no set or advised TACs for this resource in Chile. Management goals are not known to exist but three administration measures are in place to limit access and fishing pressure to the resource.

  • Fisherman access is restricted, new members are not allowed (R. Ex. Nº 3115/2013 and its modifications (Subpesca 2018)) to avoid an increase in fishing effort.
  • A minimum landing weight of 1,000 g (Subpesca 1985) established when the resource was still considered as O. vulgaris.
  • A temporal closure in place with two different periods, from June 1st to July 31st and from November 1st to February 28th (D. Ex. Nº 254/2000 in (Subpesca 2018)).
COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 4 October 2018

There are no set TACs for this resource. But there are high rates of individuals caught below the minimum landing weight established at 1,000 g (Barahona et al. 2016)(Galleguillos et al. 2010)(Gonzalez et al. 1998). Also, it was mentioned that being a high-value resource, there are fishermen coming from the southern regions (III and IV regions) to the more productive areas in the II region, noting disrespect of seasonal closures while fishing in remote areas where there is no surveillance (Pizarro et al. 2009).

There are signs of non-compliance. There are major differences in landings' records from the monitoring program and records from the surveillance and enforcement entity (Sernapesca), bringing uncertainty to both records. The selection of monitored harbors needs to be improved (Barahona et al. 2016).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 4 October 2018

There are no studies on the bycatch this fishery might have or mitigation measures in place.

Other Species

Last updated on 4 October 2018

There are no studies on the bycatch this fishery might have or mitigation measures in place. Nevertheless, the management committee of the southern octopus mentioned species such as eels and other fish that get hooked (ECOS 2016), and being the same fishing activity, this should be considered to perform studies on this matter.

HABITAT

Last updated on 4 October 2018

Habitats are not described in the fishing area. There are no studies on the impacts this fishery might have on the habitat but there are no major interactions expected to occur. 

ECOSYSTEM

Last updated on 4 October 2018

The ecosystem structure or dynamics are not described. There are no studies on the impacts this fishery might have on the ecosystem but there are no major interactions expected to occur.

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 5 October 2018

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is < 6.

There are no specific management objectives but there are three measures to limit the fishing pressure: a minimum landing weight (Subpesca, 1985), temporal closure protecting reproductive events (D. Ex. Nº 254/2000 in (Subpesca, 2018)) and a fishermen access restriction for new licenses (R. Ex. Nº 3115/2013 and its modifications, in (Subpesca, 2018). Minimum landing weight was settled considering another species, and has not been addressed yet, letting landings consist mostly on immature individuals (Barahona et al., 2016).

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

Scientific advice has not been followed by managers: the minimum landing weight exposes juvenile individuals to fishing and the future of the stock (Cortez T et al., 1998; Barahona et al., 2016; Subpesca, 2018); the temporal closure exposes nesting females to harvest (Pizarro et al., 2009); it was suggested to create precautionary measures and reference points (Subpesca, 2010; Barahona et al., 2016).

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is < 6.

Several studies mention high proportions of underweighted individuals (Barahona et al., 2016; Galleguillos et al., 2010; Gonzalez et al., 1998) and unquantified catches from unauthorized fishermen not following management measures (Pizarro et al., 2009). Finally, there are evidences of unreported extractions (Barahona et al., 2016).

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

The reproductive potential is being exposed (Subpesca, 2018). There is a clear decrease, yet fluctuant, in landings since the late 90s.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

There are no management objectives for this fishery and it has been sustained mostly by immature individuals (Barahona et al., 2016). The resource has been classified as overexploited or strongly affected by the fishery (Pizarro et al., 2009) and the reproductive potential is being exposed (Subpesca, 2018).

ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS

Click on the score to see subscore

Click on the score to see subscore

Click on the score to see subscore

×

Bycatch Subscores

There is no information to assess impacts on bycatch species. The management committee of the southern octopus mentioned species such as eels and other fish that get hooked (ECOS 2016) but no quantities are known to evaluate the impact.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

There are no measures aiming to reduce impacts on bycatch species.

×

Habitat Subscores

There is no information on the impact the gear might have on the habitat but no major interactions are expected to occur.

Priority habitats have not been identified and there is no information on location or status.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

×

Ecosystem Subscores

There is no information on the impacts this fishery might have on the ecosystem but no major interactions are expected to occur.

There is no information that would allow the characterization or determination of the status of the ecosystem.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE RISK

High Medium Low
No data available for biomass
No data available for biomass
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES
  • Landings 1992-2017 are from Sernapesca.
  • In lack of quantitative data, quantitative scores were determined for the Management quality and Stock health based on the information available. 

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

References

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    Changos octopus - Chile XV-III

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