Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Octopus, Night

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SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Octopus Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. California Two-Spot, Hub & Red Octopus, Pulpo Gulf of California Wild
Octopus Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Octopus, Tako Philippines Wild
Octopus, Common/Sushi Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Common Octopus, Tako Spain Wild
Octopus, Common/Sushi Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Common Octopus, Tako Mauritania, Morocco and Vietnam Wild
Octopus, Day Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. He'e, He'e Mauli, Tako Hawaii Wild
Octopus, Night Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. He'e, He'e Puloa, Ornate Octopus,Tako Hawaii Wild


Night Octopus, Wild, Hawaii

Wild-caught night octopus (he'e puloa) from Hawaii is considered a "Good Alternative" due to the combination of its fast growth rate, high reproductive rate and the uneven distribution of fishing effort across the island chain. The night octopus is caught by spear and handline, methods which cause little to no harm to non-target species or the marine habitat.

Consumer Note

It is unknown what percentage of available octopus in Hawaii is night octopus, but it is thought to be considerably less than the more common day octopus. Night octopus is consumed fresh in Hawaii, with little product reaching the mainland U.S.

Summary

The night octopus ranges across the tropical Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, and is active at night, hiding inside the reef during the day. Although the lifespan of the night octopus is unknown, it is thought to be approximately 1 year. It grows quickly and each female lays approximately 35,000 eggs.

The commercial octopus fishery is the largest invertebrate fishery in Hawaii, and is dominated by the day octopus. The night octopus comprises a smaller, unknown percentage of the overall catch. Spearing at night is the most common capture method for night octopus, with a smaller amount caught offshore with handlines. These gears have minimal to no impact on other species or the habitat. A large recreational octopus fishery exists in Hawaii, which is potentially much larger than the commercial fishery.

Little is known about the health of the night octopus population and few management regulations are in place. There is no limit on how much can be caught, and commercial logbooks indicate an increasing catch, as well as a decreasing catch per unit of effort.



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