Octopus, Lesser

Eledone cirrhosa

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h
Picture of Octopus, Lesser

Sustainability rating four info

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Cornwall Good Seafood Guide Cornwall Good Seafood Guide


Octopus belong to a specialised group of molluscs, known as cephalopods, which includes cuttlefish and squid. Like all cephalopods, octopus grow rapidly, although growth rates and longevity appear highly variable and environmentally determined. In addition to the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), the lesser octopus (Eledone cirrhosa) is also found in the North East Atlantic and Mediterranean. It is the more common species around the UK. As with most cephalopods, growth rates and life span are generally short, 1-5 years, although there may be some variation between areas. The lesser octopus probably matures around 1 year (12-40cm for females, slightly smaller for males) and appears less fecund than the common octopus, perhaps 1,000-5,000 eggs. Octopus are solitary animals, generally inhabiting depths less than 100m, and more common in shallow water. Lesser octopus are a red-brown colour when alive, and erectile tissue in the skin enables them to form distinct peaks over the body, hence the name horned octopus. They have a single row of suckers on each of their arms, which when at rest are curled around the body, providing their third common name of curled octopus.

Stock information

Criterion score: 0.5 info

Stock Area


Stock information


Criterion score: 0.75 info

Capture Information

Criterion score: 0.5 info