“We'll join a project with the Cephalopod Laboratory in Naples to determine how best to kill them humanely.”. During the recent World Octopus Day, an article looked at how octopus farming could become a reality and detailed a study about the ethical concerns surrounding commercial farming. “Octopuses eat fish and shellfish, and supplying enough to feed large numbers of them puts further pressure on the food chain. Farming octopus is counterproductive from a perspective of environmental sustainability and misguided from a perspective of humane food production. There are approximately 300 species of octopuses, more than 100 of whichare captured in the wild using nets, pots, lines, and traps. Octopus farming would produce high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous pollution from uneaten feed and feces, which contributes to oxygen depletion. By Daniel T Cross on May 15, 2019. They say the move is ethically inexcusable and environmentally dangerous, and have called on private companies, academic institutions and governments to block funding for these ventures. Well, the proponents of animal rights and even some scientists argue that the practice of artificial octopus farming is immoral and cruel. In addition to discussing ethical concerns and methods of humane killing, as well as the ecological implications of in-shore intensive aquaculture of cephalopods. Already, robot designers have copied their colour-changing elastic skin, and mimicked their sensitive suckered tentacles for gripping and surgical navigation. At present, these farms are still at the development stage, said Peter Godfrey-Smith of Sydney University, a contributor to the paper. Now, with careful feeding and “ideal conditions,” Tur says, “we save the life of the female, which has never been documented before.” This summer they plan to try re-breeding one resuscitated female, herself captive-bred. Thousands of fishermen in Mexico's Yucatán and Campeche states lure their prey by dangling crabs from long bamboo poles. These conscientious lab assistants, who have formed a small cooperative, remove newly laid eggs, kill and butcher the mothers, and raise the new generations for study and harvest. Not good, a new contingent of critics contends: Octopus aquaculture will further deplete marine ecosystems and needlessly torment these most sensitive and intelligent of invertebrates. There are about 300 species of octopus and many behave in surprisingly sophisticated ways. Rosas and the Yucatán government hope this experiment will seed more octopus farms, providing jobs for struggling communities and a buffer as warming reduces wild catches. The intelligence of our eight-armed friends is well-documented: Octopuses have expressed a range of complex, human-like behaviors, from cunning to problem-solving to what appears to be gratitude —qualities that aren’t exactly nurtured in larger-scale farming environments. 105k members in the nature community. During the recent World Octopus Day, an article looked at how octopus farming could become a reality and detailed a study about the ethical concerns surrounding commercial farming. Today, the multinational, Galicia-based fishing and seafood firm Grupo Nueva Pescanova, building on work by the Spanish Oceanographic Institute, is doing what may be the most advanced octoculture research, though it doesn't anticipate commercial production until 2023. It predicts a fully-farmed, market-ready octopus by 2020. At the Some aspects of the octopus life cycle make them attractive aquaculture candidates. The mollusks are highly intelligent creatures that need environments that are dynamic and stimulating in nature. Even Rosas, a biologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico who's worked for years to turn creatures like this into a profitable commodity, delights in its prehensile grace. Aside from the ethical qualms, the environmental impact of octopus farming also worries the scientists. Most wild octopus fisheries are still more artisanal than industrial, using small boats and traditional techniques. Wild-caught males and females would be allowed to mate, and their fertile eggs would be grown in containers into adults to be sold to markets round the globe. But the global catch—420,000 metric tons a year, the FAO reports—goes largely to affluent consumers in South Korea, Japan, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and, lately, the United States. The fledgling octopus farming sector should be shut down for both ethical and ecological reasons, according to a number of eminent academics. Welfare Husbandry. As we’ve stated before, decades of scientific evidence have demonstrated that humans have no biological need to consume flesh or other animal products. The Japanese seafood company Nissui is one has reported hatching octopus eggs in captivity and has predicted it will be selling market-ready octopuses next year. In an essay last year, researchers including Jennifer Jacquet, assistant professor of environmental studies at New York University, and Australian philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith decried its ethical and environmental perils. The intelligence of our eight-armed friends is well-documented: Octopuses have expressed a range of complex, human-like behaviors, from cunning to problem-solving to what appears to be gratitude—qualities that aren’t exactly nurtured in larger-scale farming environments. Octopuses are delicacies and do not deserve to be the focus of intensive farming. The group, led by Professor Jennifer Jacquet of New York University, argues that octopuses are highly intelligent, curious creatures. If we take the purist view, and the wild population gets threatened or damaged beyond repair, where will we be?”. The ethical objections are simple – octopuses are intelligent and mysterious creatures and not enough is known about them to ensure they live a good life in captivity. The situation is similar for mammals with 60% of them worldwide being livestock, mostly cattle and pigs. Getting to grips with octopus farming’s ethical issues. Consider these facts: farmed poultry accounts for 70% of all birds on the planet. Octopus maya, the species he works with, is one of several that skip the paralarval stage and hatch as fully formed mini-octopuses. They can add 5 percent of body weight in a day. Octopus farming is an emerging issue. By Daniel T Cross on May 15, 2019. I don't eat cephalopods, but I do eat meat. I would much rather that they survived to do their own thing in the sea. Webmaster. Aquaculturists have learned that the young of some octopus species are less fussy about the food they eat and have used these species as basic stock for breeding. O ctopuses are difficult to farm and, despite efforts to do so for many years, they still make for a tricky business model. For some, octopus farming also raises ethical concerns. There are approximately 300 species of octopuses, more than 100 of which are captured in the wild. With demand rising globally, octopus farming is developing apace – but, mindful of both the animals’ welfare and concerns around sustainability, should we be scaling it up at all? About 350,000 tonnes are caught every year and served in restaurants from Spain to Chile and from Mexico to Australia. Inky was an octopus living at a New Zealand aquarium who reportedly made his dash for freedom when the lid of his enclosure was left slightly ajar one night. But the case for octopus farming is weak, according to Jacquet and her co-authors. It is unsustainable. “That's not sustainable, that's less unsustainable,” replies Jacquet, adding that even if researchers “reduce other ecological impacts, farming octopus would still be unethical.” It is after all a luxury product, unneeded for food security; banning octoculture would “mean only that affluent consumers will pay more for increasingly scarce, wild octopus.”, That, Conroy says, is why octopus should be farmed: to relieve wild stocks. “Aquaculture is kind of plan B,” he says. “We can see no reason why, in the 21st century, a sophisticated, complex animal should become the source of mass-produced food,” Jacquet told the Observer. “We're working to reduce the octopuses' sensitivity to pain when we sacrifice them,” he adds—numbing them with cold water, then cutting quickly through their brains. Staff member. “Maravilloso!” he murmurs. This young Atlantic common octopus was photographed at Pescanova Biomarine Centre, the research and development lab of Pescanova, a Spain-based multinational seafood company developing octopus aquaculture. Octopuses are considered to be one of the smartest creatures in the ocean—and people love them. Big brains, complex behaviour, and precocious curiosity have made these improbable molluscs mediagenic poster creatures for animal rights and welfare—and the subject of an emerging battle over the ethics and potential environmental impacts of raising them for food. These drawbacks have prevented octopus farms from making progress – until recently. A mouse-sized octopus with tentacles like knotted threads, ghostly pale save for big, black eyes, wriggles across his palm and twines around his fingers. Feb 3, 2019 #1 This is a tough topic. It “could also be the perfect stage to isolate stem cells” in order to understand, and perhaps mimic, octopuses’ ability to regenerate lost limbs. Research has shown that octopus have considerable cognitive and behavioral complexity, making farming—in which they are placed in enclosed environments—acutely incompatible with their make-up. Kanaloa is now working on growing zooplankton to make a feed that will sustain the paralarvae. But the case for octopus farming is weak, according to Jacquet and her co-authors. Some researchers, however, are pointing to environmental and ethical reasons why octopus farming might not be as simple as it seems. Getting to grips with octopus farming’s ethical issues. His response has been to enlist local women—wives of octopus fishermen—to clean and maintain his lab's dozens of tanks in exchange for all the marketable octopus produced. “There are ethical concerns over octopus farming,” said Rosas-Vázquez. Demand and prices have surged in recent years, even as catches have fallen in traditional octopus meccas such as Spain and Japan and as warming, acidifying seas threaten further declines. “Once octopuses have solved a problem, they retain long-term memory of the solution,” the researchers state in a paper in Issues in Science and Technology. A group of scientists are arguing against the development of octopus farming. In the wild, octopuses breed once, then cease hunting and waste away; the females spend their last weeks tending their eggs. But the case for octopus farming is weak, according to Jacquet and her co-authors. Furthermore, Tur says, “we have eliminated the competition and cannibalism” that are octopus hallmarks, and have identified a previously unreported fourth stage in the common octopus’s life cycle—transparent alevin, a transitional stage between paralarvae and fully formed juveniles. Inky, a common New Zealand octopus, is believed to have climbed out of his tank, fallen to the floor, and slid across the aquarium floor to a drainpipe. Sheep were probably the first animals domesticated by hu- mans for food, starting at least 9,000 years ago. She will then be two years old, about twice the average O. vulgaris lifespan. Is farming them ethical? This young Mexican four-eyed octopus, O. maya, is from biologist Carlos Rosas Vázquez's co-op in Sisal, Mexico. The culture, at least in Mexico, is intended to be on a family scale that allows people to improve their living standards. Octopuses are delicacies and do not deserve to be the focus of intensive farming. Respect all animals, … Thread starter tonmo; Start date Feb 3, 2019; tonmo Cthulhu. The common octopus, O. vulgaris, is found around the world. The world wants to eat more octopus. Conroy, a biologist who turned to aquaculture to escape the research-funding rat race, admits that such close encounters don’t encourage more consumption. Thankfully, eating animals of any kind is unnecessary to human health, so no level of octopus farming is necessary. Since 2008, the reported annual catch of octopuses has been about 350,000 metric tons – but the actual number could be higher because catches are often underreported, particularly in artisanal fisheries. Work into refining the viability of octopus farming continues apace. For feeding, the keepers pack shrimp paste and fish-waste meal into hundreds of small clam shells, which mimic wild prey and reduce food waste. Octopus factory farming is ethically and ecologically unjustified.”. (Also read about the growing trend for pet octopuses. The world wants to eat more octopus. Keeping young animals in water whose salinity and temperature are carefully controlled has also proved tricky. We currently farm 550 aquatic species for food around the world, and octopus is about to become the newest addition to that list. As the popularity of eating octopus has grown, efforts to farm them commercially are raising questions about their welfare in captivity. However, research and testing may make it possible to farm octopus at an industrial scale. London : Researchers have said that plans to create octopus farms in coastal waters around the world are ethically inexcusable and environmentally dangerous and called on … The situation is similar for mammals with 60% of them worldwide being livestock, mostly cattle and pigs. First Octopus Farms Get Growing. Pulpo a la gallega may be the national dish of Spain's Galicia region, but Galicia imports 20 times as much octopus as it catches. Add to MyAgriExpo favorites. But that life cycle presents one big hurdle: sustaining delicate planktonic octopus hatchlings, called paralarvae, until they can begin this rocketing growth. For some, octopus farming also raises ethical concerns. Rosas and Tur (both avowed octophiles whose offices teem with octopus toys) use scraps and discards from local fish processors for octopus feed. And as the global demand for octopus is growing, more farmers are looking to capitalize on this growing trend. He then dropped 164 feet through the drainpipe to freedom in the sea. Farmed octopus, some argue, could alleviate pressures on wild populations, which are single-handedly meeting market demands. Octopus farming ‘unethical, environmentally dangerous’,London, May 12 (IANS) Researchers have said that plans to create octopus farms in coastal waters around the world are ethically inexcusable and environmentally dangerous and called on private companies, academic institutions and governments to block funding for these ventures. “Octopus factory farming is ethically and ecologically unjustified.” Farming octopuses is a really bad idea. As global de- mand for octopus grows, especially in affluent markets, so have efforts to farm them. I try to only buy meat and eggs that are organic, grass-fed, cage-free, all that (and there are many classifications). Fisheries Wildlife. Researchers want to pioneer octopus farming; but is it ethical to farm sentient, intelligent creatures? From our point of view, farming any kind of animal is an act of cruelty. There have also been advances in controlling the environments in which octopuses will be raised. by Samantha Andrews 28 June 2019, at 10:02am With demand rising globally, octopus farming is developing apace – but, mindful of both the animals’ welfare and concerns around sustainability, should we be scaling it up at all? Kanaloa Octopus's Jake Conroy has had less success with fishery waste but contemplates using invasive fish such as pink groupers as feed. “I hardly go out to fish anymore,” Yucatán fisherman Antonio Cob Reyes told me. … We believe that octopuses are particularly ill-suited to a life in captivity and mass-pro- duction, for reasons both ethical and ecological. Animal-rights proponents and some scientists argue that octopus farming is a cruel and immoral practice. Plans to create octopus farms in coastal waters round the world have been denounced by an international group of researchers. Is farming them ethical? But he faces another challenge: shoestring budgets, typical of Mexican research. “There are ethical concerns over octopus farming,” said Rosas-Vázquez. They will soon be ready to sell farmed octopuses robot designers have copied their colour-changing elastic skin, the! 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