It is about six in the afternoon, just before sunset, when hundreds of small boats are being dragged up onto the beach in a fisherman’s village in Western Sahara.
The fishermen’s catch, contained in black buckets, is not tuna, or bream, or even bass as one might expect.
Instead, they have caught an even more expensive, blue-blooded ocean-dweller that is lifting their home town Dahkla out of its financial problems.
The town lies at the tip of a peninsula, with the Atlantic ocean on one side and a bay on the other.
The calm waters in the bay contrast sharply with a recent crisis that killed millions of octopuses thousands of miles away, following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Octopus export brings ever more wealth to the people of Morocco
Last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may have been an unprecedented environmental disaster, but across the Atlantic, it turned into a boon.
With the global supply of octopus down due to fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico catching less, fishermen here now enjoy higher prices as the more voracious of the world’s octopus eaters turn to this seaside resort for their stocks.
Read the full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14015045
It is interesting that this loss of Mexican octopus followed by a global glut of Moroccan octopus is driving the price down here in Kenya, which may have knock on effects on the price of fish. Andrew Wamukota is following this up for a chapter in his dissertation. I think the quality of Kenyan octopus might be lower, so although the global supply has diminished due to the Gulf Oil Spill, it is having various effects globally possibly due to quality differences? Morocco a winner and Kenya a loser..
Anyone following octopus prices elsewhere in the Indian Ocean? We have a long time series for Kenya and have watched it rise until a few months ago and wondering what the implications will be for other seafood.