Community-based opening of closures

Closure openings can be an exciting and hectic time. All closures in an area need to open the same day (to avoid massive affluence in one site, low individual catch rates and undesirable habitat impacts.) If not well defined and organised, they can cause conflict within and between villages, as well as feelings of being cheated, and discourage the establishment of future closures (e.g. gear specifications). Opening day procedures are established well in advance, with the participation of all concerned villages and coordinated well with buyers. They need to be well communicated, so that everyone understands the rules, and so it is easy to enforce a fine on someone who does not respect them. If possible, simple catch monitoring is be carried out on the opening day, to give the community some simple and rapid feedback on the effectiveness of their closure.

An effective, community-led temporary closure for octopus fishing of around 2.5 to 3 months preceding the opening day.


Rule system agreed upon by all participants.

- All closures in an area should open the same day to avoid massive affluence in one site, consequently low individual catch and bad impact on habitat. - Coordinate the opening with buyers, ensuring all the products can be bought, that the price won’t decrease because of the abundance of product and, ideally, that there will be a price incentive at opening. - It is best to have one starting point, so that everyone is equidistant when it opens. One person should be in charge of announcing when the closure is officially open, and this announcement or signal should be clear. - If a traditional ceremony is to be performed, make sure adequate time has been allotted for this, and that the people performing the ceremony have adequate time to prepare to fish if needed. If catches are to be monitored, make sure that weighing stations are established, monitors prepared, preferably weighing at usual buying points so that fishers don’t have to perform an extra effort to get their catch sampled.