Biologists from the Alive Foundation and local fishermen found no adult Octopus vulgaris, or common octopus, in the gulfs of Roses and Pals over the course of 4 months, a phenomenon which is thought to be the result of climate change and fluctuations in the species’ reproductive cycles.
Fishermen had warned of a surprising decline in the Octopus vulgaris population, a species once commonly seen in this area, over the past few years. Experts believe that crowded beaches, high temperatures, sewage treatment plants, and polluted waters might have also forced this octopus species to migrate as now they are only found in at least 90-meter deep waters.
Since 2018, two octopus shellfish co-management committees have been set up in Catalonia, and this year authorities approved for the first time a two-month fishing ban.
The measure is strategically placed in the months when the females — who only have one laying period in their short life of just over a year — are in the reproductive phase. The ban should allow them to lay eggs and is intended to guarantee the sustainability of fishing.