The Octopus Berrima has been wild caught in the shallow waters of Coffin Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, since the early 1980’s. Today it is still widely available along the West Coast with stocks being particularly abundant and regularly fished in Venus Bay too.
Like any breed of octopus, Berrima need to feed regularly, consuming at least 16% of their body weight each day just to survive. Commonly referred to as “baby octopus”, the name gives the misconception that this species is acquired in its juvenile state. This is not the case however. Only the mature are taken, having reached their target weight of 70-130 grams at as little as 3-4 months old, which is roughly a third of the way along their entire life expectancy.
Fun fact: boasting 3 hearts and 9 brains a piece, scientists believe octopi to be arguably the most intelligent invertebrates alive today. With hundreds of neurons on each tentacle, an octopus can literally smell and taste with its legs too!
Berrima is caught using environmentally friendly tubes attached to lines that are set on the ocean floor. The tubes create additional habitat and most importantly, provide safe-haven from their many predators. Fishermen deliberately use tubes just large enough to allow the Berrima to grow to full maturity, but not so large as to entice the slightly larger adults, thus ensuring the breeders are left to do what comes naturally.
Although abundant in numbers, the Berrima fishery is closely monitored by the government to ensure it is not overfished. In short, it is sustainably managed, humanely caught, and environmentally friendly fished, resulting in zero by-catch.
Octopus has a clean, fresh ocean flavour and can be enjoyed in a wide variety of different ways. Fresh or pickled, it makes for a delicious protein in salads, and a stand-out addition to any barbeque too. One way or another, this little gem is one seafood you absolutely must try!
Berrima is available all year round with regular harvesting by local fishermen. In the case fresh octopus is not available, typically frozen will be.
Frozen-fresh in 5kg cryovac pack
Fresh loose per kilo in esky