The world’s first proposed Octopus Farm in the Canary Islands branded as cruel

Proposed Octopus Farm in Canary Islands branded as cruel

Photo by Vladimir Wrangel at Shutterstock

Scientists are said to be deeply concerned about plans to open the world’s first octopus farm in the Canary Islands.

It will be the first time these creatures have been intensively farmed and scientists say the proposed method for killing them with icy water is cruel.

The fish brand, Pescanova send the proposal for the farm to the Canary Islands, but the General Directorate has not responded to a request for comment by the BBC.

In the wild Octopuses are caught using pots, traps and lines and although farming them has been in discussion for many years nothing has come to fruition due to octopus larvae only eat live food and need a carefully the environment to be carefully controlled. Pescanova announced in 2019 that it had made the scientific breakthrough which would enable intensive farming.

The company revealed that the octopuses would be kept in large tanks with other octopuses and sometimes they would be in constant light. These creatures by nature like to be alone and live mainly in the dark.

Pescanova also confirmed they would be killed by being put into containers of water at least -3C. The World   Organisation for Animal Health said this method would result in poor fish welfare as studies have previously shown that iced water causes the octopus to have a slow, stressful death.

Supermarkets Tesco and Morrisons refuse to sell fish that have been killed using ice and America has already proposed a ban on the practice.

Professor Peter Tse, a cognitive neuroscientist at Dartmouth University told the BBC that killing the octopus with ice “would be very cruel and should not be allowed.”

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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.


    • Wietse Haak

      24 March 2023 • 17:58

      There is a simple rule. As soon as money is made off animals, the animals suffer! This is the next proof! We shouldn’t allow this cruelty, even though it’s “only” octopuses ;-(

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