Indonesian fisheries law and policy is currently dominated by hierarchical or centralised governance models which have several shortcomings compared to participatory governance. The octopus fisheries governance in four villages of Bulutui, Gangga Satu, Popisi, and Darawa in Sulawesi, Indonesia present a unique model of participatory fisheries governance. In this paper, we use T.S. Gray’s fisheries governance model to identify best practice for participatory fisheries governance at the village level (de facto) and analyse Indonesian fisheries law (de jure) to support best practice therein. This study shows that of the four models of participatory fisheries governance, applying a hybrid approach between community partnership and co-management is the most suitable partnership model (de jure and de facto). The hybrid model can be applied for both villages with adat commu- nities, i.e. communities where customary tenurial claims are still practised, acknowledged under law and respected by migrant communities, and for those villages with non-adat communities. It is recommended that octopus fisheries policy incorporates participatory governance in the future to allow active participation of the community in managing their fisheries with a clear legal status.