‘Very Cruel’: Scientists Rally to Oppose World’s First Octopus Farm Proposed in Canary Islands

a baby octopus next to a woman’s finger inside a plastic container at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in waters off Kailua-Kona, HawaiiInternationalIndiaAfricaScientists and animal welfare advocates are moving to block a proposed octopus farm in the Spanish-controlled Canary Islands, which would be the world’s first such facility. They say the animals would be kept and killed in cruel conditions.The Spanish multinational corporation Nueva Pescanova (NP) has been trying for years to build a facility in the Canary Islands to raise and slaughter the common octopus on a commercial level. Recently, it submitted its proposal to the archipelago’s General Directorate of Fishing.

According to British media, which were shown the company’s plans, the octopi, which typically live alone and in the dark, would be kept in tanks with other octopi, at times under constant light. They would be housed in about 1,000 communal tanks in a two-story building.

When it comes time to slaughter them, the company has proposed using an “ice slurry” method at -3 degrees Celsius that kills them via hypothermia, which they say is the most humane way.According to Nueva Pescanova, the operation will produce about 1 million octopi annually for food, and the facility will have about a 10-15% mortality rate.‘Very Cruel’: Scientists Rally to Oppose World’s First Octopus Farm Proposed in Canary IslandsWorldPlastic to Outnumber Fish in Ocean by 2050 at Current Consumption Rate: Russian Gov’t21 January, 10:29 GMTJonathan Birch, an associate professor at the London School of Economics, has argued that as the UK’s Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act of 2022 recognizes octopi as sentient beings capable of feeling pleasure and pain, they should not be raised for slaughter. He has especially objected to their living conditions and the method of euthanasia, saying it “would not be an acceptable method of killing in a lab.””Large numbers of octopuses should never be kept together in close proximity. Doing this leads to stress, conflict and high mortality,” he explained. “A figure of 10-15% mortality should not be acceptable for any kind of farming.”Professor Peter Tse, a cognitive neuroscientist at Dartmouth University, told British media that “to kill them with ice would be a slow death … it would be very cruel and should not be allowed.”He explained that the eight-legged mollusks are “as intelligent as cats” and deserve a more humane way of being killed, suggesting the fisherman’s classic way of killing them with a club to the head. Because its brain is located between its eyes, a quick blow in that spot will kill them instantly, as one very gutsy Hawaiian boy demonstrated in a viral video.An estimated 350,000 tons of octopi are caught in the wild each year, which is putting pressure on wild populations.


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