World’s first octopus farm? the idea is controversial

A Spanish company is building the world’s first commercial octopus farm, the result of an investment of some tens of millions of dollars. However, the enterprise has drawn much criticism, as research shows that cephalopods experience both pleasure and pain.

The octopus farm, called Nueva Pescanova, has not yet received EU permission to operate, but has been criticized from an ethical and environmental point of view. A report by Reuters news agency highlighted the main negative points of the project.

online success

Like cats, pandas and koalas, octopuses are very popular animals on the Internet, mainly due to viral videos of animals walking on sand or fighting with other animals or humans. Cephalopods were also the subject of a 2020 Netflix documentary, “Professor Polvo.”

The high intelligence of these animals has prompted Britain to declare them legally vulnerable. But, on the contrary, the increasing fishing of these animals has made their hunting the fastest growing food production sector in the world.

different opinion

Cephalopods are considered highly intelligent and sensitive animals. credit: Sylvia Medeiros

Growing demand has fueled thought for octopus farms, the largest and most important of these being Nueva Pescanova. However, previous experiments have shown that octopuses are not easily bred animals in captivity, as they are highly aggressive, self-harming and cannibalistic.

According to Raul García, director of fisheries conservation efforts at the World Wildlife Foundation in Spain, octopuses are highly intelligent animals. Additionally, they are known to be unhappy in captive situations.

In contrast, Eduardo Almansa of the Institute of Oceanography in Spain says that fishing the octopus for human consumption depends on alternatives such as the Nueva Pescanova farm. According to him, deep sea fishing has already reached its limit.

Environmentalists don’t believe in farms

Environmental researchers, on the other hand, warn that keeping the animals in captivity will not reduce the pressure on wild aquatic animals. Furthermore, these types of initiatives are aimed only at improving global food security, regardless of animal welfare.

Some activists even say that the ideal is to stop buying and eating octopuses. However, for now, the best hope for these regions is to get the European Union to refuse the license needed to operate a Spanish octopus farm.

Via: futurism

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