Octopus Farm Coming to Spain?!?!

by | Feb 16, 2024 | Cephalopods | 0 comments

A Spanish seafood company, Nueva Pescanova, plans to build the world’s first octopus farm along a dock in the Canary Islands, at the Port of Las Palmas on Gran Canaria Island. They will handle every step of the octopus aquaculture process, from birth and death to packaging and shipping. Larvae will be birthed and initially fed on a diet of seaweed. In the next stage, a development process that lasts from six to 15 months, the juvenile octopus will be fed crabs. Eventually, they will be placed in communal tanks where they complete their development, before being slaughtered, frozen, packaged, and shipped off.

The farm hopes to produce around 3,000 tons of octopus each year, amounting to the slaughter of around one million animals. Animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming has led a protest campaign against the octopus farm since it was first proposed a few years ago. The group recently sent a letter to Canary Islands President Fernando Clavijo Batlle, urging him to reject the seafood company’s plan. Around 75 advocacy organizations and experts signed it, including  Sy Montgomery, author of the bestselling book The Soul of an Octopus. They called on the government to cancel the plan on the grounds of unsustainability and animal cruelty. Furthermore, they argue that the current method of slaughter (submerging them in tanks containing water with ice, a method scientifically recognized for resulting in a painful, stressful, and slow death) being chosen for the octopuses is inhumane.

Currently there are no welfare rules in place, as octopuses have never been commercially farmed before. However studies have shown that this method of slaughtering fish using ‘ice slurry’ causes a slow, stressful death. The World Organization for Animal Health says it “results in poor fish welfare” and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) – the leading farmed seafood certification scheme – is proposing a ban unless fish are stunned beforehand

How do you feel about this? Leave a comment below, and if you oppose this new business, you can sign the petition HERE.





  • xeniaforever

    As senior editor here at reefs, I get to work with scientists from all over the world, and have made some wonderful friends in the industry! I also write for the site, and am the office manager at FRESH New London and the mother of two brilliant, talented young women.


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