Budget expenditure: $94,058.00
Project Status:
Principal Investigator: Anthony Hart
Organisation: Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) WA
Project start/end date: 7 Dec 2019 - 29 Jun 2021
Stock Assessment
Fishing Gear


Octopus aff. tetricus or the Western Australian common octopus is an endemic species of the temperate waters of Western Australia. It is closely related to the cosmopolitan O. vulgaris species complex, and the ‘gloomy octopus’, O. tetricus on the east coast of Australia and New Zealand, but has been conclusively identified as a separate species through genetic and morphometric studies (Guzik et al., 2005; Amor et al., 2014). Currently, the common octopus supports the largest single-species octopus fishery in Australia, however the animal caught is an unnamed species, and carries the species affinis “Octopus aff. tetricus” instead. This is not an ideal situation for two reasons. First, it hinders a proper assessment of its significant contribution to the Australian cephalopod fisheries harvest. For example there is no dedicated SAFs report for this species, despite the catch levels harvest being three times greater than the 'Pale Octopus' (Octopus pallidus) from Tasmania, which does have its own SAFs assessment report. Secondly, there is an industry impetus to differentiate the product in the marketplace in order to create a distinct branding of the Western Australian octopus fishery into the future. Thus there is both a scientific/administrative need and a marketing need to formalise the correct species name, and its associated common name.


1. Develop a formal species name for Octopus aff. tetricus
2. Develop an approved common name for Octopus aff. tetricus

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