Octopus


Latin names: Octopus pallidus, Octopus tetricus


Common names: Common Octopus, Pale Octopus, Maori Octopus

  • Better Choice

Wild Caught

Region:
TAS

Key Facts

  • In Tasmania, Octopus is caught using unbaited pots. Some catch is also taken as bycatch in pot fisheries targeting rock lobsters, and a very small quantity is collected by hand.
  • Although there is limited stock status information for the species of octopus caught, octopus generally grow and reproduce quickly, and populations are resilient to fishing pressure. Tasmanian fisheries target the pale octopus, with smaller catches of maori octopus and common octopus.
  • The Tasmanian octopus fishery is considered in a healthy condition, though there are some concerns that localised depletion could occur.
  • Octopus pot and trap fisheries are highly targeted, have very low impacts on seafloor habitats, and fishing poses a low risk to protected species.

Cooking & Recipes

BBQ
POACH
BRAISE

You can buy octopus either as smaller ‘baby’ octopus, as larger whole specimens, or as individual legs. While cooking octopus can be complicated, it doesn’t have to be. It is well suited to barbecuing, with a light char and a squeeze of lemon complimenting the robust meat. For incredibly tender results, try braising the octopus first. Slow cooking in a sauce of tomato, wine and herbs will tenderise the meat, making a delicious stew to serve with pasta, polenta, or crusty bread.

More information

  • Tasmanian Octopus Fishery, Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fishery, Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery (119t in 2016-17)

In Tasmania, octopus is caught using unbaited traps and pots, which are selective methods of fishing that have minimal impacts on seafloor habitats and threatened species. Shelter pots (which are unbaited, attracting octopus by providing habitat) are used, with a small amount of catch retained as byproduct in baited rock lobster pots. These fishing methods pose low risk to seabed habitats and have low levels of bycatch.

While Australian octopus fisheries are generally poorly understood, with little information on the species caught or structure of octopus populations, Tasmanian octopus fisheries primarily catch pale octopus, with smaller catches of maori and common octopus.

The Tasmanian pale octopus fishery appears healthy, but there are some concerns that localised depletion is occurring in key areas. This will require careful future monitoring, though managers have recommended actions to better control fishing, which is welcome. The Western Australian and Tasmanian fisheries are the only Australian octopus fisheries to have comprehensive science based fishery assessment programs in place. The Tasmanian fishery’s management is relatively rudimentary, but is supported by annual fishery surveys.